‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was a financial and critical success.
So, why haven’t we had a sequel yet?
It looks as though the reason for that is that creator George Miller is currently suing Warner Bros. over unpaid earnings related to the original ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’… and it could put any upcoming sequel in jeopardy.
“Their falling out has been revealed in a Supreme Court of NSW ruling that the dispute between production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Warner Bros should be arbitrated here rather than in California,” reveals The Guardian.
The production company (run by George Miller with long-time collaborator Doug Mitchell) claims that Warner Bros. has failed to stump up for a bonus – a payment which hinged on ‘Fury Road’ coming in under budget… and that the studio’s calculations used to determine this were wrong.
“Justice David Hammerschlag said the agreement to make Fury Road included a condition that Kennedy Miller Mitchell would receive a $US7 million bonus if ‘the final net cost’ of the movie was not more than $US157 million, after certain costs were excluded from calculations.”
“And that if Warner Bros intended to seek another co-financier, it would first offer Kennedy Miller Mitchell the chance to provide finance.”
Essentially, Warner Bros’ calculations bring the movie over budget… resulting in no payment. But the production company claims that Warner Bros. made a series of decisions which caused changes and delays to the production.
And that this is why the production went over budget.
By wrongly taking these into account, Warner Bros. could be denying Kennedy Miller Mitchell a payment which is rightly theirs.
“If those costs are left out of account [Kennedy Miller Mitchell] says that Mad Max came in under budget.”
And to add insult to injury, they claim that Warner Bro. also entered into a co-financing agreement with RatPac Entertainment (at the time, run by James Packer and Brett Ratner) for 12.5 per cent of the movie’s funding – a move which clearly breaches the agreement to give Kennedy Miller Mitchell first offer.
Miller and Mitchell issued the following statement: “After all the hard work and success of the film, the studio failed to honour its obligations,” they claimed. “Simply put, we are owed substantial earnings for diligent and painstaking work which spanned over 10 years in development of the script and preparation and three years in production of the movie.”
“That hard work resulted in a picture which found wide acclaim globally… We would much prefer to be making movies with Warner Bros than litigating with them but, after trying for over a year, we were unable to reach a satisfactory resolution and have now had to resort to a law suit to sort things out.”
Of course, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was a huge hit.
Earning $372 million at the worldwide box office, and released to widespread critical acclaim, the film even cleaned up at the Oscars, winning six awards including Best Film Editing and Best Production Design, as well as landing Miller a nomination for Best Director.
Will we eventually see a ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ sequel?
For now, we’ll have to wait and see. But it may not end up at Warner Bros.