30 years has lapsed between Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Mad Max Fury Road and when it was made it was not without problems including relocating the entire film from Australia to the deserts of Africa, a pair of lead stars with a rumoured hatred for each other and a daily logistical headache for production to deal with so many on screen vehicles as well as essential vehicles for production it’s a wonder it ever got made. Yet despite all that and more it earned $378m at the box office, gained huge critical acclaim and won six Oscars one of which was for Director George Miller’s wife who edited the film.
Ever since there’s been demand for a fifth film which is stagnating due to the age old argument over…yes you’ve guessed it…..money! because director George Miller is suing Warner Bros. Pictures over unpaid earnings making him extremely reluctant to get involved in working on any further Mad Max films.
There are two claims apparently.
The first being that Millers production company (Kennedy Miller Mitchell) would receive a $7million bonus if “the final net cost” of the movie was not more than $157 million after certain costs were excluded from calculations.
The second is that if Warner Bros. Pictures wanted to find another co-financier, it would first offer Millers company the chance to provide the finance.
Warners have already lost as to where the case should be heard wanting California but losing to New South Wales. The supreme court of New South Wales have stated,’On [Warner Bros’] calculations, Mad Max went over budget. 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’
Millers company’s claim against Warners is also for “misleading and deceptive conduct” alleging that they were not informed by Warner’s of additional costs due to the studio’s changes and delays that would be included in budget calculations and also claim that Warner Bros entered into a co-financing agreement with RatPac Entertainment for 12.5% of the movie’s funding which would breach their original agreement to give Miller’s company first refusal.
Miller’s company have put out a statement saying, ‘…….after all the hard work and success of the film, the studio failed to honour its obligations. 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,” they said. “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,.
Warners simply said,’We disagree and will vigorously defend against these claims’.
Seeing as Miller is 72 years old the thought of another gruelling battle to make a fifth film after the litigation is sorted, which might take years, means we may never see another from him even though Tom Hardy is signed up for more films in the franchise.