If you’ve been wondering what’s happening with the proposed Mad Max sequels that George Miller has been teasing ever since Fury Road was released, well unfortunately the answer is… not much. We are hearing this week that the projects are being held up by an ongoing lawsuit between George Miller’s production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Warner Brothers. The main point of contention seems to be a debate over whether Mad Max: Fury Road came in under budget, which would entitle the production company to a $7 million bonus. Miller claims that the budget came in at $154.6 million, just under the agreed upon $157 million, while the studio says it was closer to $185 million. Other claims filed against the studio include the following:
- Warner Bros insisted certain scenes in the script not be shot – including those around Immortan Joe’s Citadel – with new scenes instead and a new ending.
- When Miller had a so-called “rough cut” of the movie, the studio made a series of decisions that caused “substantial changes and delays” to the production, including that the previously cut scenes and new ones be shot.
- The studio directed there be at least 10 screenings of Fury Road and, after each one, requested further changes.
- Warner Bros later approved a plan to shoot additional scenes costing $US31 million in late 2013, which required shipping vehicles back to Australia, reassembling the main cast and crew, re-creating an African set and extra post-production. And that these costs were to be excluded from the net cost of the movie.
- The studio arranged for Ratpac-Dune Entertainment to co-finance the movie despite being contractually required to offer Kennedy Miller Mitchell the first opportunity if it was required.
Meanwhile the studio’s cross-claim alleges that most of the delays and budgetary problems were caused by the production company themselves. They also seem to take issue with the fact that the final product was rated R, although they had agreed upon a PG-13 film. Miller has stated that the trust between the studio and himself has been destroyed and that they can no longer work together. It is unclear if any sort of settlement will repair that trust, but I guess we’ll have to wait until it is sorted out in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Do you think we will see any more Mad Max sequels?