Its director George Miller is now locked in battle with Warner Bros., taking them to court in Australia over allegations the company failed to pay him an agreed multi-million dollar bonus for the film.
Warner Bros attempted to get the suit, launched without fanfare in September, moved out of Australia, but the Aussie Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the case will be litigated Down Under. It officially cost $150 million just to produce, but apparently went over $157 million - because Warner Bros. would have given Miller's production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell a bonus if it stayed under that number. Miller's legal team argues that Warner Bros. essentially caused budget overruns by making decisions that led to delays that effected the overall cost of the film.
"Simply put, we are owed substantial earnings for diligent and painstaking work which spanned over 10 years in development of the script and preparation and three years in production of the movie", the pair said in a statement.
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As Sydney Morning-Herald reports, the suit accuses Warner Bros. of factoring in costs that were the result of its own decisions so that the studio could claim that the project went beyond its $157 million United States dollars budget.
"On [Warner Bros'] calculations, Mad Max went over budget", Justice David Hammerschlag said. "If these calculations are right, [Kennedy Miller Mitchell] does not get a bonus". That hard work resulted in a picture which found wide acclaim globally ...
Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, and Nicholas Hoult, won six Academy Awards at the 2015 ceremony, and it backed up its critical acclaim with a huge box office haul. If the lousy Pacific Rim ($411 million/$190 million) is getting a sequel from the same studio, then surely the Oscar-nominated Fury Road deserves one too?
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Cindy Ord via Getty Images Miller's production company has brought a claim against Warner Bros. for "misleading and deceptive conduct". With 2018 just over the horizon, it's freakish that Warner Bros. doesn't already have a sequel ready to drop.
Kennedy Miller Mitchell is also arguing that WB breached the agreement that they would first approach them with added budgetary needs.
The director is also challenging Warner Bros.' co-financing deal with RatPac Entertainment, saying he and the studio had agreed to give his company the first chance to supply that funding.
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"We disagree and will vigorously defend against these claims", said the studio's official spokesman, MI J. Frog (note: need confirmation on this source).