After ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ fans have been dying to hear more as we know that Tom Hardy was signed on for a three picture deal but it seems like that isn’t going to be happening any time soon. The reasoning behind that is director George Miller is currently suing Warner Brothers over unpaid earnings on the film. You would think with the box offices success, home sales, and six Academy Awards that the studio might not think it was a great idea to anger such a beloved director of not only that franchise but their ‘Happy Feet’ films as well.
The news came from a filing in a Supreme Court of NSW ruling which has pushed that Warner Brothers and the production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell, which Miller partially owns, should have the situation arbitrated in Australia instead of California. Clearly, a win for the director.
The movie took in $378 million USD at the worldwide box office and that was even before it was able to pull in the Oscars which it was awarded.
According to Justice David Hammerschlag it looks as if in the agreement for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to be made there was a condition that stated Kennedy Miller Mitchell would end up with a $7 million bonus if “the final net cost” of the movie ended up being less than $157 million after certain costs were taken out of the calculation.
The production company started working with the court in September about their case against Warner Brothers.
Also according to Hammerschlag:
“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.”
On top of this, the production company was to have the first rights on being a co-financier for the film if Warner Brothers decided to seek more production money. The studio appears to have made just such an agreement with James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment for 12.5 percent of the movie’s funding. This would be a clear breach of the agreement by not offering Kennedy Miller Mitchell the first offer.
To make matters worse the production company made the claim that Warner Brothers used “misleading and deceptive conduct” for not informing the studio of the additional costs which would be associated with their actions so budget calculations weren’t changed to match that.
While Miller “would much prefer to be making movies with Warner Bros than litigating with them” it seems that after “trying for over a year, we were unable to reach a satisfactory resolution and have now had to resort to a lawsuit to sort things out.”
Warner Brothers isn’t stating how they feel about this just that they “disagree and will vigorously defend against these claims.”
It sounds like at least the co-financing option will end up in Miller’s favor but the other two will end up fully in arbitration. Hopefully, this isn’t the end of the ‘Mad Max‘ franchise but with what could be a lengthy arbitration battle until we see a settlement and with bad blood between the parties involved I wouldn’t hold my breath for a follow up.
Are you sad to hear that this could be the end of the ‘Mad Max’ franchise? Do you think that once an agreement is settled upon that we’ll see another movie go into production? Share your thoughts below!
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald