Even before the acclaimed action movie Mad Max: Fury Road finally hit theaters in 2015, franchise director George Miller has been adamant about his plans for sequels. Despite rumors last year that next film was close to production, there has been no further news since. Now, we have a reason why progress has stalled–Miller is in fact suing the studio.
As recently reported by Deadline, Miller has taken Warner to court in his and the franchise’s native Australia. Miller alleges that the company reneged on paying him a multimillion-dollar bonus for Fury Road‘s budget. The director claims that the studio agreed to pay him a whooping $7 million bonus if the movie’s budget came in under $157 million. The film did indeed go overbudget, but Miller states that it was decisions by Warner Bros that caused the delays and cost overruns.
In a response to Deadline, a Warner spokesman said “We disagree and will vigorously defend against these claims.” The site also goes on to note that the studio attempted to get the case moved outside of Australia, but the country’s Supreme Court last week ruled that it will be litigated there.
Mad Max: Fury Road starred Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult. It made $378.4 million worldwide and was nominated for ten Oscars, which is more than any Australian film in history.
In 2015, Miller stated that there were two Mad Max movies in development. “This film was green lit three times and fell over three times over a decade,” he said. “We went to shoot with Mel Gibson back in 2001, but then 9/11 happened, and the American dollar collapsed against the Australian dollar close to 30 per cent, so we lost that amount of budget overnight.”
“We were then rained out of Australia. The desert rained for the first time in 15 years, and we ended up in South West Africa, Namibia. But in this process, we had dug down deep into the backstory, not only of the characters, but of every vehicle. How the steering wheels became religious artefacts and things like that.”
“So we ended up with two scripts, without really trying,” Miller added. “We’re talking to the studio about it as we speak, but which one of the two stories will happen next, I’m not so sure.”
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