Back when Mad Max: Fury Road was first released, director George Miller seemed raring to go on a sequel to the acclaimed post-apocalyptic action thriller, but now – over two years later – it seems we’re no closer to a fifth instalment in the franchise.
Well, the reason for the lack of progress on the sequel(s) could well be that Miller’s production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell is taking legal action against Warner Bros. over claims of unpaid earnings.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Fury Road agreement stated that Kennedy Miller Mitchell would receive a $7 million bonus if the final net cost of the movie was below $157 million, and that Kennedy Miller Mitchell would have first refusal if Warner sought to bring on board a co-financier.
The suit argues that while the total cost of Fury Road was above $157 million, this was down to additional costs and expenses due to Warner Bros. enforcing changes and delays to the project, and these costs should be excluded from the “net” budget. Furthermore, Warner Bros. also entered into an agreement with RatPac Entertainment for 12.5% of the film’s funding, without Kennedy Miller Mitchell receiving first refusal.
“[We are disappointed that] 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,” reads a statement from Kennedy Miller Mitchell. “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.”
Warner Bros. issued its own brief statement, which reads: “We disagree and will vigorously defend against these claims.”
Let’s hope the dispute gets settled quickly, preferably with an agreement to move ahead on a new movie…