George Miller sues Warner Bros for Mad Max earnings

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller is suing Warner Bros. over alleged unpaid earnings, over two years since the Oscar-winning film’s release.

The legal dispute has been brought to the Australian Supreme Court, with it ruling that Miller’s production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Warner Bros’ dealings should be settled in Australia rather than California.

The dispute revolves around a contractual condition that Kennedy Miller Mitchell would receive a $7 million bonus if the film’s final cost was no more than $157 million, after certain expenses were excluded from the calculation. Warner Bros claims the film went over budget, with Miller saying that costly changes and delays made by the studio, not Miller, are what resulted in the films’ cost crossing the $157 million mark.

The film infamously went through a series of setbacks in production, from recasting the main role three times, rescheduling, and moving the entire production from Australia to Namibia. The film’s time in development spanned 13 years in total, the final three in production of the movie.

Upon its eventual release, Mad Max: Fury Road won six Academy Awards, and was a massive critical and financial success with sequels quickly fast-tracked and even a Furiosa spinoff put into development – more than two years later, nothing. Speaking to Fairfax Media, Miller and his partner Doug Mitchell said “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 have released only a short statement, saying “We disagree and will vigorously defend against these claims”.

 

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