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This is the real reason why the Mad Max prequel Furiosa took so long to make

Can't outrun legal trouble.

Furiosa trailer
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

If you were wondering why Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga took so long to finally make, here's the surprising answer. Hint: It has nothing to do with creative differences or the script needing more time in the oven.

Even though the box office haul ($379 million on a $150M budget) of 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road was just adequate, its performance in the domestic market was remarkable, and the movie was showered with awards, thus making everyone involved interested in making more movies. There was one big hurdle to overcome before jumping back into the world of Mad Max though.

As pointed out by The Hollywood Reporter when the first-ever Furiosa trailer dropped, the long-in-the-works prequel had been held up for years by a legal battle between writer-director George Miller and Warner Bros. This eventually led to the filmmaker making Three Thousand Years of Longing before Furiosa. But what's the full story?

It all was quite simple, really, but hard to resolve due to a number of factors. The gist of it was that Warner Bros. owed Miller's loan-out company a $7 million bonus because the movie's final net cost didn't surpass $157 million. According to Team Warner, the production went over budget, but Miller claimed that only happened because of various studio-related changes and delays. Eventually, this was figured out, and Miller pointed out in 2019 things only became complicated because of the constant leadership changes at the company plus the mergers. He wasn't wrong, as even after closing that chapter between him and the studio, Furiosa went into active development under one regime and will release with Warner Discovery calling the shots.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is set to release on May 24, 2024, exclusively in theaters.

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