It would seem the future of a Mad Max: Fury Road sequel from George Miller may be in jeopardy after a claim was filed by the director against Warner Brothers. Miller says the studio owes his production company a hefty contractual bonus in the neighborhood of $7 million dollars for the box office success of the film.
The contract (reportedly) of Miller’s Kennedy Miller Mitchell with WB stated if “the final net cost” of the production was not more than $157 million (US), Kennedy Miller Mitchell would receive a $7 million bonus. The film garnered $374 million worldwide, and Miller is adamant his company met the agreed upon conditions for the additional payment.
The Sydney Morning Herald says the production company claims that 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.”
Kennedy Miller Mitchell said:
“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.””
If the additional costs of Warner Brothers-caused delays to the production of the film are left out of that calculation, Kennedy Miller Mitchell claims Fury Road did indeed come in under budget.
There was also a stipulation that if Warner Bros intended to seek an additional co-financier, it would first offer Kennedy Miller Mitchell the chance to provide finance before entering into any other agreements. Miller claims Warner Brothers breached this agreement by entering into a co-financing agreement with RatPac Entertainment for 12.5 per cent of the movie’s funding, a clear violation of the first offer if this is the case.
The case is being overseen by Justice David Hammerschlag, a New South Wales supreme court judge who believes the case is better served in an Australian court rather than California.
The official statement from Warner Brothers on this case is short:
“We disagree and will vigorously defend against these claims.”
We will let you know if any further information about this case is made public, as it might possibly affect the future of any additional titles in the Mad Max filmography.