Back in 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road took theaters & audiences by storm, grabbing ten Oscar nominations, and left them craving more of George Miller’s post-apocalyptic tales. Since then things have been very quiet regarding the franchise’s future.
That’s because, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Miller and Warner Bros. Pictures are engaged in a “bitter” court battle over monetary issues from the first film which likely might sink two possible future films in the series. Miller and his production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell in a document filed with the Supreme Court of NSW claim that Warner Bros. acted in a “high-handed, insulting or reprehensible” manner and allegedly reneged on a deal that would have paid Miller a bonus $7 million for coming in under budget.
The final cost of the film is a disputed number between the two parties as well, playing into whether Miller was due the bonus or not. The agreed budget was $157 million and Miller & company claim they came in under budget at $154.6 while Warner Bros. claims they came in over budget at $185.1 million.
Warner Bros. also alleges that the contract with Miller & his production company required them to make a 100-minute movie that was PG-13 while the final product was a 120-minute R-rated/MA 15+ film.
These disputes caused the two parties to be unable to work together for any future installments, despite Miller having announced the completion of Mad Max 5 and 6 scripts in the past.
The first Mad Max film in over 30 years, Fury Road brought in $400 million at the box office while achieving tons of critical acclaim alongside it’s Oscar nominations. Despite all that, it was no secret about the difficulties that plagued filming.
Shot over two years, the shoot encountered extreme weather conditions while on location in 2012, there were reports of feuds between co-stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, reshoots were ordered in 2013 leading to the cast & crew to reassemble on location.
Kennedy Miller Mitchell claims that Warner Bros. demanded certain scenes be shot or cut and caused “substantial changes and delays” to production while the studio claims the production company exceeded the budget without the studio’s approval and that the production company agreed to fund some of the additional 2013 shooting among other issues both sides are claiming.
Miller says the future of the written sequels is uncertain, and Warner Bros. has appealed the decision to have the case heard in NSW. Judgment is pending.