Mad Max: Fury Road Lawsuit Reportedly Holding Up Sequels

Lawrence Kim
April 17, 2018

Now, per the Sydney Morning Herald, new court filings shed some light on exactly what's going on, and how this makes Fury Road sequels unlikely to happen. Notorious for its hard production and delays, the film nevertheless opened in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim, almost $400 million in the worldwide box office, and general prestigious accolades including six Oscar wins, plus further Oscar nominations for Best Picture and George Miller for Best Director. In the ensuing years both Theron and Hardy have stated their desire to reprise their roles and Miller has also seemed interested in continuing his story, but now it looks like those Mad Max: Fury Road sequels may never actually happen. The company claims that after "destroying" its trust, Warner Bros. failed to pay a bonus for wrapping the movie under budget and also breached a co-financing agreement, the Herald notes. The Miller crew claim additional costs were forced on them by the studios' own decisions and shouldn't be included in the net cost of Miller's movie.

In a counter-filing, Warner Bros. says Fury Road "significantly exceeded the approved budget", with the extra costs caused largely by Miller's production company. Apparently they were brought on to co-finance the film, despite Warner Bros. contractually being required to offer Kennedy Miller Mitchell to do so themselves. Warner Bros. says that Kennedy Miller Mitchell agreed to deliver a 100-minute long PG-13 rated film, but ultimately delivered a 120-minute, R-rated film. Miller also states certain decisions made by the studio caused needless delays to the production. However, Warner Bros.is claiming the final net cost of the movie was $185.1 million, and that as such the agreed $7 million bonus can not be paid.

"Fury's Road" reshoots are another point of contention between the studio and the production company. However, Warner Bros. says the company agreed to fund some of the additional filming and that it made changes without the studio's approval that delayed production and raised the budget.

Another source of debate between the companies is the involvement of Brett Ratner's Ratpac-Dune Entertainment. The film ended up grossing $378 million worldwide and earned 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Miller. The company also claims that it was unaware that RatPac-Dune Entertainment was brought on as a co-financier, only learning this when Steve Mnuchin, now the US secretary of the Treasury, was given an executive-producer credit.

From director George Miller, originator of the post-apocalyptic genre and mastermind behind the legendary "Mad Max" franchise, comes "Mad Max: Fury Road", a return to the world of the Road Warrior, Max Rockatansky.

IndieWire has reached out to Miller's representatives for further comment.

Warner Bros. tried to get the lawsuit moved out of Australia, but in November the Aussie Supreme Court ruled that the case would stay Down Under.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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