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George Miller is suing Warner Bros for unpaid Mad Max: Fury Road earnings

11.13.2017

Two years ago, fans got the new MAD MAX movie they’d been waiting years for in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and the final product was nothing short of miraculous. The movie went on to make hundreds of millions worldwide and earned rave reviews, leading many to think a sequel would get an immediate green light. Though there are irons in the fire for a new movie, the start of production is stalled, and a new lawsuit could be the major reason why.

According to a new report from the Sydney Morning Herald, director George Miller and his production company, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, are suing Warner Bros. over unpaid earnings they believe they are guaranteed via their contract conditions. KMM put out a statement on the matter saying:

Simply put, we are owed substantial earnings for diligent and painstaking work which spanned over 10 years in the development of the script and preparation and three years in the 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 lawsuit to sort things out.

The suit stems from a stipulation in the contract saying the company would get a bonus of $7 million if the final net cost of the movie came in under the production budget of $157 million. Warner Bros. cites they did not do this, coming in over budget. But KMM claims the reason for this is because WB “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.” 

As well, there was an additional stipulation in the contract that stated that if WB felt they should seek additional funds from other companies that they must first give KMM a chance to provide the funds. The suit claims that WB broke the deal when they entered into an agreement with RatPac Entertainment for 12.5 percent of the movie’s funding.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD went on to make $378 million globally and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at the 2016 Oscars, and at the end of the night won six trophies. As for the lawsuit, Warner Bros. has put out a statement saying they do not agree with the charges and will fight back against the lawsuit.

This is a pretty nasty lawsuit that’s the result of Miller and his company trying to get the money they believe they're owed for over a year. This whole thing is, of course, ridiculous. Not only is it holding up production on MAD MAX: WASTELAND, but it’s also silly for WB to fight back. It’s $7 million. Most of us would sell out families for that much money, but for a big company, it’s chump change. More than double that amount was spent on reshoots for WB’s October bomb GEOSTORM. FURY ROAD won the most Oscars back in 2016 and is hailed as a modern masterwork, so if anything, KMM deserves that money purely for delivering such a phenomenal piece of work.

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