Fans have been clamoring for a sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road since it hit theaters in May of 2015, but the possibility of getting one is even bleaker than the future represented in the film. Given that the film pulled in almost $400 million, was loved by fans and critics alike and won six Oscars for Warner Bros, you’d figure that the studio would be chomping at the bit to make one themselves. Unfortunately, money and lawyers seem to have gotten in the way.
In his contract with WB, George Miller was supposed to get a $7 million bonus if the film came in under a budget of $157 million. He claims that he was able to do this, but Warner Bros is claiming that he didn’t. So, they won’t pony up the bonus and he’s suing them for it.
In the claim, Miller’s production company says that they were able to make the film for $154.6 million. Warner Bros, however, says that the real number was more like $185.1 million. The extra $31 million appears to have come from new scenes that were shot with the approval of Warner Bros and that allegedly wasn’t supposed to be counted as part of the original bonus program (according to Miller). The reason they were supposed to be excluded, was that they were only needed because WB had meddled with the production in the first place.
WB’s legal team is balking at the claim and had this to say that the extra costs were borne out of a suggestion by WB for an alternative ending, not a demand and that (according to WB), Miller’s production company had agreed to pay some of those costs themselves. In the end, Miller’s team says that WB’s unwillingness to pay the bonus has destroyed any trust that the filmmaker had with the studio and that they’ll be unable to work together on any future installments of the film.
For those of you who still wish that George Miller’s Justice League film was the version that was made, this means that there’s very little chance that we’ll ever get a chance to see him tackle a film for the DCEU. That said, it’s amazing how much a little money can smooth over these rough feelings.