The first question many viewers had after watching George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road was, “when can I see a sequel and how do I donate money to this noble cause?” Turns out, money is the biggest reason why a Fury Road sequel might never get made, but not for the reasons you’d think. Earlier this year, we reported on a dispute between director George Miller and Warner Bros., the studio that produced the film. The gist of it was this:
Miller and partner Doug Mitchell said in a statement: “After all the hard work and success of the film, the studio failed to honour its obligations. 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.”
What this means is: a certain stipulation in Miller’s contract involved him getting a $7 million dollar bonus if the film came in under budget (any figure less than $157 million). However, reshoots and “a series of decisions which caused changes and delays to the production,” made it impossible for the film to come in under budget. That said, Fury Road was an undeniable success, and a movie that could potentially generate over a billion dollars in revenue for Warner Bros. is being held up over a $7 million dollar payout.
This whole thing just reeks of studio greed, which has contributed to so many great projects never seeing the light of day. And, of course, Brett Ratner is involved in this awfulness somehow. Miller’s company, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, claims that Warner Bros. breached their contract by seeking out 12.5% of their funding from Brett Ratner’s RatPac. All of this is to say, a lot of backdoor deals and generally unethical behavior contributed to this ordeal, and we may never see The Wasteland because of it.
That would be a real shame considering how beloved Fury Road has become, and how quickly audiences embraced it as a new classic, just two years after its release.
Images: Warner Bros.