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It was a three decade wait between Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and Mad Max: Fury Road, but the latter movie exceeded expectations, becoming the highest-grossing entry in the franchise and earning numerous accolades, which included winning six Oscar and being nominated in three other categories, With a performance like that, it's hardly surprising that director George Miller and Warner Bros were interested in making more movies centered on Max Rockatansky. However, three years after Fury Road's release, it looks like a legal battle between Miller and Warner Bros may prevent these sequels from ever becoming a reality.
Last November, it was reported that George Miller's production company, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, was suing Warner Bros over unpaid earnings. If the final net cost of Mad Max: Fury Road ended up being below $157 million, the production company would have been awarded a $7 million bonus. Kennedy Keller Mitchell alleged that while Warner Bros calculated that Fury Road went over budget, there were complications during the shoot due to delays and weather that the company shouldn't be faulted for, and discounting the cost of those problems, it earned that bonus. Now the latest update from the Sydney Morning Herald states that Kennedy Keller Mitchell has claimed in a document filed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales that Warner Bros acted in a "high-handed, insulting or reprehensible manner." Because Warner Bros "destroyed" this trustful relationship, Miller's production company was unable to work with the studio to make more Mad Max sequels.
Following Mad Max: Fury Road's release, George Miller revealed that he had enough material for two more Mad Max scripts, one of which is called Mad Max: The Wasteland (though that's just a working title). However, judging by the way this legal conflict is going, it doesn't sound like we should expect any progress on another installment anytime soon. Even if Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Warner Bros are able to reach some kind of settlement, both parties have alleged how the other side made Fury Road's production incredibly difficult, so it's hard to imagine how they could work together amicably on another movie, let alone two.
Warner Bros has distributed all of the Mad Max movies since the beginning, so I suspect the studio wouldn't give up the rights to the franchise even if George Miller never got to make these sequels. That would be a shame, because Mad Max: Fury Road blazed a new path for this film series to take, not just for Tom Hardy in the Max Rockatansky role, but also for Charlize Theron's Furiosa. Alas, despite Fury Road's critical acclaim, the journey to make that movie may have ultimately led to the Mad Max franchise being paused indefinitely.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the Mad Max franchise as they come in. For now, you can plan your visits to the movie theater this year accordingly by scanning through our 2018 release schedule.