Even before it premiered, "Mad Max: Fury Road" was earning crazy buzz from fans dying to see how director George Miller revived the franchise 30 years after its last film was released.
Now with 10 nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, it heads into the Oscars as the second-most nominated film of the year. It's also already won four BAFTAs, a SAG Award and countless critics prizes.
So what made this film resonate with audiences? Here's what the cast and director had to say.
Make way for Imperator Furiosa
Tom Hardy steps into the titular role, but it's Charlize Theron's turn as the badass Imperator Furiosa that drew cheers from critics and audiences alike, refreshed by the fearless female lead on the screen.
"I think we become a badass when we're stuck in circumstances where have no option, where survival is the only option, and I think our reptilian brain knows how to function in those circumstances," Theron told etalk.
Clearly committing to the role, she made the call to shave her head and performed many of her own stunts.
Costar Nicholas Hoult also credits Miller with developing new characters that really grabbed audiences.
"Credit to George for creating this very masculine intense world, but at the same time really strong female characters in this film, because it's quite rare to see in blockbuster movies," he says.
Old meets new
Returning to "Mad Max" decades later, the process brought together many of the same crew that worked on the originals, with the advantage of advancements in technology.
Gruelling production in the desert also required extra dedication of everyone involved, according to Miller.
"When we decided to do this movie, it doesn't have any flying human beings or spacecraft -- it's not a CG movie," he told us. "We had to go out with real people and real vehicles in the desert and do it."
That electric casting combination
Miller has nothing but praise for Theron, Hardy and the rest of the cast that brought this new installment to life.
"With Tom, when he walked through the door, it reminded me of 30 years before, when Mel Gibson first walked through the door," he says. "That sort of wild charisma... and they've got this lovable quality, but at the same time there's a danger to them."
And Hoult can attest having the right combination of people working on the project was essential to its success.
"It's one of those things where after a few weeks you feel as if you've known these people your whole life, because you've spent so much time with them and are put into these extreme situations."
See how "Mad Max: Fury Road" fares when the 2016 Oscars air Sunday Feb. 28 on CTV.