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So much for the Fury Road sequel ---- Miller sues WB

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:55 am
by biolumen
George Miller sues Warner Bros over Mad Max earnings

More than two years after Mad Max: Fury Road became a worldwide hit - going on to win six Academy Awards - director George Miller is suing Hollywood studio Warner Bros over unpaid earnings.

Their falling out has been revealed in a Supreme Court of NSW ruling that the dispute between production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Warner Bros should be arbitrated here rather than in California.

The directors of the production company are Miller, whose stellar directing career includes two Happy Feet movies and the Mad Max series, and his longtime producing partner Doug Mitchell.

It's a dispute that seems to show why Miller is yet to make two more long-planned Mad Max movies.

He famously overcame more than a decade of setbacks to make the fourth movie in the action series, including three major delays, three actors down to play Max - Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger then Tom Hardy - then having to switch the gruelling shoot from Australia to Namibia.

But Fury Road was released to near unanimous critical acclaim and took $US378 million ($492 million) at the worldwide box office before triumphing at the Oscars.

Justice David Hammerschlag said the agreement to make Fury Road included a condition that Kennedy Miller Mitchell would receive a $US7 million bonus if "the final net cost" of the movie was not more than $US157 million, after certain costs were excluded from calculations.

And that if Warner Bros intended to seek another co-financier, it would first offer Kennedy Miller Mitchell the chance to provide finance.

The production company started court proceedings against the studio over unpaid earnings in September.

"On [Warner Bros'] calculations, Mad Max went over budget," Justice Hammerschlag said. "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."

The production company also claimed Warner Bros entered into a co-financing agreement with RatPac Entertainment, then run by James Packer and Brett Ratner, for 12.5 per cent of the movie's funding - breaching the agreement to give Kennedy Miller Mitchell first offer.

The production company also brought a claim against Warner Bros for "misleading and deceptive conduct" for not informing it that additional costs due to the studio's changes and delays would be included in budget calculations.

While Warner Bros argued that NSW was "a clearly inappropriate forum" to arbitrate the dispute, Justice Hammerschlag disagreed.

Miller and Mitchell told Fairfax Media they were disappointed that "after all the hard work and success of the film, the studio failed to honour its obligations" to them.

"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," they said. "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."

Last month Miller put the historic art deco Metro theatre in Potts Point, his headquarters for more than 30 years, on the market with expectations of selling for $20 million. ... ngs/?cs=36

Re: So much for the Fury Road sequel ---- Miller sues WB

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:54 pm
by Taipan
I've been following Miller's relationship with WB for 2 years now and the more I found out the less I am surprised now that this is how it all ended up.
Some of my sources told me way back that the movie was way over budget, around 400mil total and that the intention to shoot in Broken Hill was genuine but later became something .... should I say "questionable" after Miller shifted focus to finishing Happy Feet 2 while he was 'waiting for the landscape to become a desert again'. 18 months of waiting. I'll just put it bluntly - some of the things I heard informed me that Fury Road was not going to be filmed in Broken Hill at all.
The studio tanked a lot of money building the infrastructure in NSW from 2009 to 2011. There were some interesting dealings with the local government to give the impression that the production is moving forward, but it really went nowhere.

As soon as WB realized the movie is not going to happen in Broken Hill, and yet another truckload of money was gone, they took away the video game and the anime from Miller.Both of those things are extremely important in all this because they distinctly show what WB was willing to do with their share of rights to Mad Max .... should I say... extremely recklessly.

As for WB's claim of the production being over budget - I think I might have to side with them, as much as I don't agree with how they're treating the franchise. They invested in that movie 3 times, 2 of which were money lost.

I think at this point the whole debacle seems to be over how much money was invested in Fury Road really, what happened in Broken Hill and the rights to the franchise. Miller has been fighting with WB over those things shortly after the Oscars if I remember correctly.

Re: So much for the Fury Road sequel ---- Miller sues WB

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:22 pm
by biolumen
"We would much prefer to be making movies with Warner Bros than litigating with them..."

It's sad to think this spat over $7 million is keeping Miller from making more movies with WB, even if it isn't a FR sequel.

That said, he has a history with other studios. Lorenzo's Oil, Babe and Babe: Pig in the City were made at Universal, and the first try at making Fury Road with Mel was being made at 20th Century Fox. So perhaps he'll move elsewhere.

Re: So much for the Fury Road sequel ---- Miller sues WB

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:43 pm
by Copwatch
If I'm correct, WB only owns the distribution rights to the franchise, right?

Re: So much for the Fury Road sequel ---- Miller sues WB

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:06 am
by rustycarr
Can Miller make MM movies without warner at this point and can warner make MM movies without Miller?

Re: So much for the Fury Road sequel ---- Miller sues WB

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:47 am
by RobThom
"and the rights to the franchise..."


But it sure is strange that somehow Miller doesn't seem to have any money?
He's selling that building and he's going to the mattresses for 7 mil?
7 mil isn't much in hollywood money.

And all those happy feet movies were hits.

Is Miller good with money?
Becasue he was able to do SOOO much in the first 2 Mad Max movies without it.
But some people might not be good with it if they've got it or access to it.

Re: So much for the Fury Road sequel ---- Miller sues WB

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:02 pm
by henry2
So is this lawsuit gonna go on forever? I can't wait for Miller's next film! :D