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Fury Road is proving to have a few potholes.
The fourth Mad Max movie, being made by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, is in production in far-off Namibia with George Miller at the helm. But according to sources, the production has veered off schedule and is running over budget. And Warner Bros. is making sure the problem doesn’t escalate. Studio head Jeff Robinov flew to the Africa set a few weeks ago to evaluate the film, which sources say had fallen at least five days behind schedule.
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And to chart a course correction, producer Denise di Novi has been dispatched to the set to supervise. Warner Bros., in confirming Di Novi’s involvement to The Hollywood Reporter, is calling her a “studio representative” who will serve as the eyes and ears of Warners as production continues.
The studio had executives traveling back and forth to the far-flung location, a situation di Novi hopes to remedy. “It’s easier having someone there who has experience and who can keep us posted on the day’s events,” says Warner Bros. motion picture group president Jeff Robinov, adding that he is optimistic the production will wrap on time. Fury Road, with a budget in the $100 million to $125 million range, started shooting in July and is scheduled to wrap at the end of November.
Di Novi is not being made a producer on the Tom Hardy–Charlize Theron movie, which officially is being produced by Miller and Doug Mitchell, who has worked with Miller on 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome — the previous film in the action series — Babe and the recent Happy Feet movies.
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The on-set complexities for Fury Road don’t come as surprise to those who know Miller. The filmmaker, while undeniably visionary, regularly goes over budget on his movies, and Warners ran into cost issues with Happy Feet 2, which barely was finished in time for its release date.
Fury Road has been more than a decade in the making. Mel Gibson was attached to reprise his career-making role of Max Rockatansky in a version that initially was set up at Fox, but it got derailed after the events of 9/11, when overseas shoots proved unpopular. Miller then spent years reassembling the project, with Hardy taking on the male lead.
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