Lawsuit over Mad Max: Fury Road could block two more movies

Ben Arnold
Mad Max: Fury Road (Credit: Warner Bros)

A legal battle between director George Miller and Warner Bros could mean that we won’t get to see two more planned Mad Max movies.

Miller is locked in a bitter dispute with the studio over its alleged failure to deliver promised bonuses for delivering the acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road under budget and other claims of breach of contract.

Litigation is currently going on in the Supreme Court in Australia, with Miller’s production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell suing Warner for the unpaid earnings, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The suit also details Miller’s claims of Warner meddling in the movie’s production, accusing the company of ‘high-handed, insulting or reprehensible’ behaviour.

Each party has the movie being made for a different figure, with Miller and co saying it $154.6 million, and therefore eligible for a $9 million bonus for being under the previously agreed $157 million budget.

Warner, however, claims that the films was actually massively over budget, costing $185.1 million.

Miller’s company has other alleged issues with Warner, including claims that the studio insisted on further scenes being shot, including a new ending, interference from the studio which caused ‘substantial delays’, and a studio approved period of re-shoots in 2013 which added $31 million to the budget.

(Credit: Warner Bros)

The company also said that it arranged co-financing from Brett Ratner’s Ratpac-Dune production company, despite having a deal in place with Kennedy Miller Mitchell to have first refusal on co-financing, and also insisted on an executive producer credit for Steve Mnuchin, now Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury.

Warner has counter-claimed that Miller’s movie ‘significantly exceeded the approved budget’, that the studio ‘requested’ another ending rather than insisting on it, and that Miller’s company agreed to fund some of the additional filming costs.

It also alleges that they agreed with Miller to make a 100-minute movie that was to be rated PG-13 in the US, and not the R-rated, 120-minute movie that was completed.

The movie was stricken with problems as it was, with heavy rains on its set in Broken Hill, New South Wales, forcing production to up sticks to South Africa and Namibia at great expense.

Miller has two more Mad Max movies written and ready to go, but with this legal action in place, it means that we won’t be seeing either of them any time soon.

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