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Warner Bros. is coming off an impressive year, as hits including Aquaman, A Star is Born and Crazy Rich Asians helped propel the studio to $5.6 billion in worldwide earnings. Moving forward, it is expanding the DC Universe, starting with an impressive 2019 slate and looking to forward a few more of their popular properties. Here’s what Warner Bros. film and television chief executive Kevin Tsuijihara said:
We have incredible franchises on the features side such as The Matrix. We’d love to work with George Miller on furthering the Mad Max franchise. We feel there’s a big opportunity on the Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera side as well. We need to invest and build those franchises up. We think that, despite their age, they still maintain a special place in kids’ hearts.
Though the studio’s biggest hits in 2018 were not sequels, Warner Bros. looks to be focusing on continuing and reimagining the beloved stories it's previously established going forward. In his recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kevin Tsuijihara discussed the studio’s particular interest in moving forward with another Mad Max sequel from writer/director George Miller.
Thirty years after Mad Max Thunderdome, George Miller revitalized his franchise with 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which became the highest-earning installment with over $378 million worldwide. It was also recognized with six Oscars out of an impressive ten nominations.
A follow-up to the post-apocalyptic action flick starring Charlize Theron’s Furiosa and Tom Hardy’s Max Rockatansky has been delayed due to an ongoing lawsuit between the Fury Road filmmakers and Warner Bros, concerning an unpaid bonus of $7 million. Due to expensive reshoots for Fury Road that went over budget, the studio has refused to pay the bonus, while George Miller has explained the reshoots were at the fault of the studio.
Per Kevin Tsuijihara’s recent comments, maybe the studio is willing to pay the difference or settle the deal once and for all so more Mad Max movies can finally move ahead? Considering the success and appeal of Fury Road, it would be a smart move and investment for the studio to develop the sequel, which George Miller previously revealed he had plans for.
Tsuijihara also mentioned plans to delve back into Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera as well. The studio already has plans to bring back Bugs and Lola Bunny for Space Jam 2, starring the Lakers’ own LeBron James, produced by Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler and Fast & Furious 6’s Justin Lin, and Terence Nance directing. The movie will begin filming this summer and hit theaters on July 16, 2021.
So amidst more DC origin stories, we can hopefully expect Warner Bros to move forward with Mad Max and more big screen reboots of beloved childhood Sunday morning cartoons. Check out CinemaBlend’s 2019 movie release guide for upcoming releases coming closer to theaters.