Is MAD MAX: FURY ROAD in Trouble?

Peter Martin, Managing Editor

The long-awaited Mad Max: Fury Road is now shooting in Namibia under the direction of George Miller, but studio backer Warner Bros. reportedly has concerns about the production.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has sent veteran producer Denise di Novi to Africa to serve as their representative, someone "who can keep us posted on the day's events," in the words of Jeff Robinov, Warner Bros. motion picture group president. Sources claim the production has fallen five days behind schedule and is over its budget, which is rumored to be in the $100 million to $125 million range.

Early in her career, di Novi served as producer for Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns), and since then has racked up an impressive number of credits, mostly for more modestly-budgeted affairs, but clearly she has the trust of the studio, which had been shuttling execs back and forth to Namibia. Shooting is expected to conclude at the end of November; every day behind schedule obviously adds to the film's budget, and the overruns can add up rather quickly.

In view of its budget, the untested box office appeal of Tom Hardy, and the long stretch of time since Miller has shot an action picture, the film is certainly a big financial risk, but one that I certainly hope will pay off artistically (and motorized mayhem-wise). A release date for Mad Max: Fury Road has not yet been set.

Around the Internet:
  • Five days behind schedule isn't actually very much for a production on this scale - you normally build a 10% contingency into your schedule and budget - and wouldn't justify sending someone to oversee, I don't think. There must be larger concerns.

  • TheGhostOfGriffinMill

    No question marks needed: when the head of a studio has to schlepp to Africa, bad things are afoot. Sending Denise for damage control/oversight is not only expensive but a good indicator of how off-the-rails Jeff feels this production is going.

  • Saltoner

    Oh Hollywood. A film that is pretty much well over 70% finished but has no release date, while WB has 0% done on Justice League but has decided a Summer 2015 is its release. Makes no sense!

  • MarsHottentot

    Sure it does! Another superhero team movie raked in over 1 Billion dollars this past spring. The potential has Warner Bros with a superpowered case of blue balls!

  • TheGhostOfGriffinMill

    The problem though is Marvel has a long track record of marrying the right writers and directors with the right properties -- they may manage storylines from the top down, but they are immersed in the original content to begin with and have a pretty good sense of what will work and how to steer it. Warner Bros, not so much.

    The Nolan films may seem to be a new beginning, but anyone reading the other projects that have been developed and killed -- SUPERMAX (ie: GREEN ARROW), THE FLASH, WONDER WOMAN, BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN -- knows that the most likely outcome is another GREEN LANTERN debacle.

    The executive caste at WB just isn't organically invested in the material and tend to make focus-group changes in development that lead things away from their core.

  • MarsHottentot

    Yeah, none of what you said has anything to do with my point, but I'm sure it felt good to write.

  • TheGhostOfGriffinMill

    Well, if your point was that you're a sarcastic twit who thinks there's no reason to make a JL movie, than what I wrote has to do with the fact that there are real reasons to try and make one. And if you're a basement-living fanboy who's desperate for a JL film, than what I wrote is just a warning that the systems at WB aren't likely to give you what you're expecting. So, either way, I guess what we've learned is that you're a hostile troll who likes the last word. (And, yes, that feels good to write. Dork.)

  • MarsHottentot

    Yeah, that totally wasn't my point. Ironically, I am a basement-living fanboy (not of JLA, though - not sure where you got that) - 8,000 sqr feet - it's pretty fuckin' awesome. Even you might be jealous.

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