George Miller Taking Warner Bros. to Court For $7M Bonus From ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Posted 2017/11/13 1948 0

It seems like that Mad Max: Fury Road sequel we've all been hoping for may be on hold.


The veteran Aussie writer-director, who launched the Mad Max franchise in 1979 with Mel Gibson in the title role, claims the studio owes his production company, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, which he co-runs with producing partner Doug Mitchell, an unpaid $7 million. The contract (reportedly) of Miller’s Kennedy Miller Mitchell with WB stated if  “the final net cost” of the production was not more than $157 million (US), Kennedy Miller Mitchell would receive a $7 million bonus. The film garnered $374 million worldwide, and Miller is adamant his company met the agreed upon conditions for the additional payment.

Kennedy Miller Mitchell said:

“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. That hard work resulted in a picture which found wide acclaim globally.

“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.””

Miller and Mitchell filed suit in Australia on Sept. 3. The suit also accuses the studio of breaching their agreement when it allowed RatPac Entertainment to take a 12.5% stake in the project, violating an obligation to first offer such terms to Miller and Mitchell.

Warner Bros. argues that the dispute should be handled in arbitration in California. However, on Thursday, Justice David Hammerschlag of the New South Wales Supreme Court ruled against the studio, finding that the dispute is not explicitly subject to arbitration. Here's what Justice David Hammerschlag had to say about the dispute.

"On [Warner Bros'] calculations, Mad Max went over budget. If these calculations are right, [Kennedy Miller Mitchell] does not get a bonus. [But the production company] claims [Warner Bros] made a series of decisions which caused substantial changes and delays to Mad Max, which led to additional costs and expenses and that [the studio] wrongly took them into account in its over-budget calculation. If those costs are left out of account [Kennedy Miller Mitchell] says that Mad Max came in under budget."