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George Miller is suing Warner Bros. over Mad Max: Fury Road

11.13.2017by: Cody Hamman

Mad Max: Fury Road George Miller

When the incredible MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was released back in 2015, MAD MAX franchise creator George Miller let it be known that he intended to bring the title character back in a sequel called MAD MAX: THE WASTELAND. Around that time, Miller also said that he wanted to make a smaller film before diving back into Max's world. Two and a half years later, that smaller film still hasn't happened, and there has been no word on when Miller might want to get started on THE WASTELAND.

Now there is a legal hurdle that needs to be cleared before Miller and Max can return to the post-apocalyptic wasteland. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Miller's company Kennedy Miller Mitchell is suing FURY ROAD distributor Warner Bros. over unpaid earnings, a dispute that will be arbitrated in the filmmaker's home country of Australia.

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.

"On [Warner Bros'] calculations, Mad Max went over budget," Justice Hammerschlag said. "If these calculations are right, [Kennedy Miller Mitchell] does not get a bonus. [But the production company] claims [Warner Bros] made a series of decisions which caused substantial changes and delays to Mad Max, which led to additional costs and expenses and that [the studio] wrongly took them into account in its over-budget calculation. If those costs are left out of account [Kennedy Miller Mitchell] says that Mad Max came in under budget."

The production company also claimed Warner Bros entered into a co-financing agreement with RatPac Entertainment, then run by James Packer and Brett Ratner, for 12.5 per cent of the movie's funding – breaching the agreement to give Kennedy Miller Mitchell first offer.

Kennedy Miller Mitchell is accusing Warner Bros. of "misleading and deceptive conduct" for adding certain costs into the budget calculations.

Miller and producing partner Doug Mitchell told Fairfax Media the following: 

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."

Warner Bros. intends to "vigorously defend" themselves against the production company's claims.

So we probably shouldn't expect to see MAD MAX: THE WASTELAND any time soon... If it happens at all.

Extra Tidbit: Do you want to see another MAD MAX film?

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