The rumor was that "Mad Max: Fury Road" would kick off the 68th Festival du Cannes.  Instead, George Miller's long awaited return to the post-apocalyptic world he originally created with 1979's "Mad Max" will take place on Thursday, May 14 and, most importantly, out of competition.

"Fury Road" stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and finds Tom Hardy taking over the iconic role of Max Rockatansky that was originated by Mel Gibson over 35 years ago. It's also Miller's first live action film since 1998's "Babe: Pig in the City."  The film has been described as effectively one long chase scene that finds Max Max having to team up with the Empress Furiosa Theron) who is fleeing a rabid gang in hot pursuit of her party.

Warner Bros. kicked off its campaign for "Fury Road" at Comic-Con last year and the Cannes debut will close it on la Croissette on the same day it effectively opens worldwide.

In an interview with HitFix's own Drew McWeeny earlier this month, Miller reflected on how long it took this fourth chapter in the series to come to him.

"Twelve years ago, the idea came to me," Miller recalls. "I was crossing the street, and it flashed in my mind, the central idea. I said, 'Oh, that’s a 'Mad Max' movie.' By the time I got to the other side of the street, I said, 'No, there’s no way.'  Two years after that, I was on a flight from Los Angeles across the Pacific at night, and I woke up in the middle of the night, and as these things do, this is when it played out in my head."

"Mad Max: Fury Road" opens nationwide on May 15.

Look for complete coverage from the 2015 Cannes Film Festival on HitFix from May 13-24.

With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.