The legal dispute has shelved the future plans for the two follow-up films Miller had planned for his "Mad Max" universe.
In simple terms, Miller says it's Warner Bros. fault that more money was spent than expected, and he couldn't have done anything to help that.
It won six Academy Awards and was an instant favourite with audiences and critics, so why hasn't "Mad Max: Fury Road" had any sequels? Yet while Fury Road was a box office hit, and rumors of potential sequels have abounded, there's been no real movement on the next chapter in the high-octane Mad Max saga. This weekend, we may have learned what the hold-up is: according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Miller's production company (Kennedy Miller Marshall) is in the process of suing Warner Bros. for what they claim is $7M in unpaid Fury Road bonuses.
Miller's company is arguing that decisions made by Warner Bros. "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". Plus, he is testing a provision under Australian consumer law for Warners' alleged misleading and deceptive conduct in making a deal without informing Miller how added costs would factor into budget calculations. "That hard work resulted in a picture which found wide acclaim globally".
"On [Warner Bros'] calculations, Mad Max went over budget", Justice Hammerschlag told the outlet.
The company also alleges that Warner Bros. entered into a co-financing agreement with James Packer and Brett Ratner's RatPac Entertainment, violating their agreement to give Kennedy Miller Mitchell the first chance to finance the film.
For its part, the studio contends that Miller and his team were only guaranteed a bonus if the film came in under budget, with WB claiming that the movie went over budget and over schedule. He asserts that Warner Bros. shouldn't take those costs into account.
Not a simple case, Warner Bros. have now released a brief statement saying that they "disagree and will vigorously defend" throughout the case, so it's going to be very interesting to see how this one all shakes out when all is said and done. It would be wise to stick with him.