Miller’s production company alleges that Warner Bros. insisted on new scenes (including a new ending) and requested further edits and re-shoots, which delayed production and necessitated a bigger budget. It claims that Warner Bros. approved an additional $31 million, which Warner Bros. denies: It says it never gave written approval for the increase and that any extra costs were unnecessarily created by the production team.

Kennedy Miller Mitchell was supposed to be given the first opportunity to co-finance the film if it required more money, the company said. In a strange twist, it said that Warner Bros. instead brought in another investment group for a piece of the film without telling Miller’s production company, which didn’t find out until it was ordered to give a producer credit to Steve Mnuchin, a former investment banker and film financier who is now Donald Trump’s treasury secretary.

The lawsuit offers a rare glimpse of the behind-the-scenes tumult that sometimes plagues big-budget Hollywood films. Studios and directors are frequently at odds over just how large film budgets should be, and how they should be allocated.

In this instance, Warner Bros. may be balking at Miller’s demands because Fury Road didn’t turn much of a profit, and any potential sequels to the visually ambitious movie would likely be logistically difficult to shoot. While a second or third film would probably perform better financially, given the first’s critical success, it’s no guarantee of a big profit—especially if budgets keep getting bigger and bigger.

The entire situation is a total shame, since Miller’s Fury Road was one of the rare big-budget Hollywood franchise movies to be both original and deeply compelling. If more of these films don’t get made, everyone loses.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.