Lawsuit over Mad Max: Fury Road could block two more movies

Tuesday, 17 Apr, 2018

Additionally, Miller's company notes that WB later approved a plan to shoot new scenes at a cost of $31 million, but that these costs were to be excluded from the final cost of the movie owing to the fact that the reshoots were a necessity borne out of WB's meddling. Notorious for its hard production and delays, the film nevertheless opened in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim, almost $400 million in the worldwide box office, and general prestigious accolades including six Oscar wins, plus further Oscar nominations for Best Picture and George Miller for Best Director.

Mad Max: Fury Road was a notably tough shoot on cast & crew, and it took almost three years from the time it started filming in 2012 for it to reach screens in 2015. Indeed, while the legal case, which has put a hold on any future Mad Max movies, was moved from the Californian to the Australian judicial system in late 2017.

Did you like Mad Max: Fury Road?

It also alleges that they agreed with Miller to make a 100-minute movie that was to be rated PG-13 in the USA, and not the R-rated, 120-minute movie that was completed.

As for the likelihood of the Fury Road sequels getting off the ground, it all depends on how quickly this lawsuit will be handled and which way it goes down.

The Sydney newspaper is filled with other juicy tidbits for those most curious, including Miller and company's apprehension to WB bringing in Brett Ratner and Steve Mnuchin's Ratpac-Dune Entertainment on as a co-financier, which by the by made Donald Trump's future U.S. Secretary of Treasury a producer on the film.

Fury Road "significantly exceeded the approved budget", with the extra costs largely caused by the production company, without the studio's written approval.

While the studio asked for an alternative ending, it says it did not insist on it.

In a cross-lawsuit filed by Warner Bros., the studio accuses Kennedy Miller Mitchell of breaking contract over the film's intended runtime and rating.

The release date was ultimately delayed by 14 months and the cost of production increased by $US31 million to $US185.1 million.

Miller was in a philosophical mood when he spoke about his career to students at NIDA on Thursday night, reflecting on the directors who had influenced him most (Buster Keaton and Alfred Hitchcock) and what Jack Nicholson taught him about working with studios when they made The Witches of Eastwick together ("they mistake politeness for weakness; you've got to make them think you're crazy").

Fury Road set the stage for two sequels, one of which focused on the backstory of Charlize Theron's breakout character Imperator Furiosa, and one putting Tom Hardy back in the driver's seat with a tentative title of Mad Max: The Wasteland. "I'm not sitting around grinding my teeth".

On whether fans would ever get to see the next two Mad Max movies, Miller said he honestly did not know. Warner Bros. has appealed that decision.

Garry Maddox is a Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.