Melbourne: Director George Miller is suing Warner Bros alleging that the company reneged on paying him a multi-million-dollar bonus for the 2015 action hit “Mad Max: Fury Road”.
The veteran Australian filmmaker, who created the Mad Max franchise in 1979 with Mel Gibson in the lead role, claims the studio was contracted to pay his company, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, a USD 7 million bonus if the sequel came in at a final cost of less than USD 157 million, reported Sydney Morning Herald.
The dispute is being litigated in the Supreme Court of New South Wales where Kennedy Miller Mitchell is based, rather than the US, and revolves around whether it was the studio or Miller’s fault for budget overruns.
“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,” Justice David Hammerschlag said.
In a statement to Deadline, Warner Bros said, “We disagree and will vigorously defend against these claims.”
“Mad Max: Fury Road” began production in 2012, but due to a series of delays and lengthy re-shoots was not released until three years later in 2015. It grossed over USD 378 million worldwide and was nominated for 10 Oscars, receiving six. There has been talk of at least two more films in the Mad Max franchise, with stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron ready to return.
Miller has also been rumoured for other directing assignments on the Warner Bros, including “Man of Steel 2” and “Green Lantern Corps”.