Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Philip Lord and Christopher Miller are an American filmmaking duo. Their work includes creating the adult animated sitcom Clone High (2002–2003), directing and writing the animated films Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) and The Lego Movie (2014), as well as directing the live-action comedy film 21 Jump Street (2012) and its sequel, 22 Jump Street (2014). Lord and Miller also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as producers of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), which was co-written by Lord, and co-produced the television series The Last Man on Earth (2015–2018) for Fox and Unikitty! (2017–2020) for Cartoon Network.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Phil Lord & Christopher Miller by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Lord (left) and Miller (right) at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con, promoting The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Born
Alma materDartmouth College
OccupationFilmmakers, actors, animators
Years active1998–present
Known for
Spouse(s)Robyn Murgio (Miller)
Children2 (Miller)

Early lifeEdit

According to The New York Times, Lord is from Miami; his mother is a Cuban-born psychologist, and his father retired from the aviation business and before that directed a dance company, Fusion, for 10 years. Miller is from the Seattle area, where his father runs a lumber mill.[1]

Lord and Miller both grew up making short films with an affinity for animation. Both attended Dartmouth College, and had separate columns in the school newspaper, The Dartmouth. Lord was a member of Amarna, a co-ed undergraduate society while Miller was a brother at Alpha Chi Alpha. During his time in college, Christopher met his girlfriend, now wife.

During their time at Dartmouth, the school paper published a profile on Miller, which caught the attention of then chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner. According to Lord, Eisner brought the profile to the attention of his fellow Disney executives who then offered to set up a meeting with Miller. Miller agreed to the meeting as long as he could bring Lord. After three months, the two moved to Los Angeles and after one meeting were offered a two-year development deal at Walt Disney Television Animation.[2]

CareerEdit

2000sEdit

Though nothing they pitched made it to air, they produced the pilot to Clone High, which was subsequently dropped by Fox. After they wrote and produced on a series of sitcoms, MTV informed the duo that they were interested in purchasing a 13-episode season of Clone High. Although the show was met with acclaim, MTV canceled the series after hunger strike protests occurred in India over the show's portrayal of Gandhi as a motor-mouthed partier.[3]

In 2003, the two were tapped to write a screenplay for what would become their first feature film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. After a year working on the script, they were fired for story issues and replaced with new writers, who after a year were also fired. Lord and Miller were then re-hired in 2006. The two completely redid the script, this time with the creative input of their crew. The new draft had the protagonist as a failed inventor who wanted to prove himself to his town. The two were almost fired again after Amy Pascal, the head of Sony Pictures at the time, criticized the film for a lack of story. Although the film succeeded on the comedic front in the animatic stage, Pascal cited the lack of an anchoring relationship in the film as a failure in the story telling. Unable to create new characters and environments to suit the new story demands, the two elevated the character of the tackle shop extra to be the protagonist's father, thereby creating the relationship Pascal had requested. The pair's experience on Cloudy taught them two valuable lessons: the power of creative collaboration and the importance of emotion in a story.[4]

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was released in 2009 to positive reviews.

2010sEdit

 
Miller and Lord and the 2015 WonderCon.

After Cloudy was released, the two sought to try to make something different and pitched themselves as possible directors for the 21 Jump Street script that Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill had written. The studio agreed and the two directed their first live-action R-rated film, released to critical and popular acclaim, which led to the production of a sequel titled 22 Jump Street.

In an interview with Robert K. Elder for his book The Best Film You've Never Seen, Lord stated that "in an animated feature, you remake the movie three or four times, and it's really easy to get bummed out that the way you did it before didn't get greenlit, didn't get paid, and you're making a totally different version of that movie."[5]

During the production of 21 Jump Street, they pitched a take on a possible Lego film to Dan Lin. Lin and Warner Bros. loved the take, so Lord and Miller wrote and eventually directed their third feature film together, The Lego Movie. The duo were picked by Warner Bros. to write the script for the upcoming superhero film The Flash.[6] The duo were also picked by Sony Pictures Animation in 2015 to create an animated Spider-Man film, with the option to direct. The film was eventually made as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), which the duo produced and which Lord co-wrote.[7]

The duo have recently[when?] developed a live-action/animated series, Son of Zorn, for Fox, with Jason Sudeikis voicing the lead role of animated character Zorn, and Johnny Pemberton and Cheryl Hines playing the live-action roles.[8] They are also producing a cable-TV drama based on the popular NPR/This American Life spinoff podcast Serial.[9]

Also, they produced an R-rated animated Netflix original film called America: The Motion Picture alongside Will Allegra, Matt Thompson, Adam Reed, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan from a screenplay by David Callaham and directed by Thompson.[10][11]

In January 2017, Lord and Miller began directing the then-untitled film Solo: A Star Wars Story, a standalone Star Wars movie based on the Han Solo character. On June 20, 2017 it was reported that they had been fired from the project by Lucasfilm, after over four-and-a-half months of filming, about three-quarters through principal photography.[12] Lucasfilm announced that "creative differences" were the reason, with Entertainment Weekly reporting that Lord and Miller were going off-script and trying to make the film into more of a comedy. They were unwilling to compromise with Lucasfilm and writer Lawrence Kasdan on the direction of the film, preferring their vision. Two days later, Ron Howard was announced as the replacement, to complete the film and reshoots.[13][14] Lord and Miller received executive-producer credits on Solo: A Star Wars Story.[15]

In November 2017, Lord and Miller commented on their departure from Solo: A Star Wars Story. Lord stated "The experience of shooting the movie was wonderful. We had the most incredible cast and crew and collaborators. [...] We're really proud of the work we did on the movie and we wish everybody the best." Miller added "As Phil said, we had such a great relationship with cast and crew, we were really rooting for them. After we took a much-needed vacation, we got back into it and now we're writing and producing a sequel to The Lego Movie and producing a Miles Morales animated Spider-Man."[16]

2020s-presentEdit

Lord and Miller also produced The Mitchells vs. the Machines for Sony Pictures Animation.[17]

In June 2020, it was reported that Lord and Miller would be developing an eight-episode television series titled The Afterparty for Apple TV+. The series is a murder mystery comedy set at a high school reunion where each episode features a retelling of the same night told through a different character's POV.[18] Miller created and directed the series himself, while serving as an executive producer alongside Lord. The series premiered on January 28, 2022, to critical acclaim.

On November 1, 2019, it was announced that Lord and Miller would be returning as producers and writers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which is set to be released on June 2, 2023.[19][20] In December 2021, Lord and Miller revealed that Across the Spider-Verse was being split into two parts after they had written down the story they wanted to tell for the sequel and realized that it was too much for a single film. Work on both parts was taking place simultaneously, with Part Two expected to release in 2024.[19]

On July 2, 2020, it was announced that MTV Studios was developing a reboot of Clone High, and that original series creators, Lord, Miller, and Bill Lawrence would be involved with the project.[21] In February 2021, the series was given a two season order by HBO Max.[22]

Future projectsEdit

In September 2017 Lord and Miller were announced as co-directors of the film adaptation of the 2017 novel Artemis. [23] However, due to the Disney-Fox merger and producer Simon Kinberg ending his deal with the company, the fate of the project is unknown.

On May 15, 2020, Variety reported that Lord and Miller are attached to direct a film adaptation of Andy Weir's next novel Project Hail Mary for MGM, with Ryan Gosling attached to star in the leading role and Amy Pascal producing.[24] This would be their first directorial venture together since their departure from Solo, and they hope to start production by this year.

In May 2021, it was announced that Lord and Miller would produce and direct an adaptation of the book The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, which chronicles the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.[25]

They also made a five-year deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop animated Marvel series, including a possible Into the Spider-Verse series,[26] as well as a first-look deal with Universal Pictures.[27]

In an interview with /Film during promotion of The Afterparty, Lord & Miller expressed interest in making a biopic of Hall & Oates.[28]

Other projectsEdit

Lord co-wrote the comic Spider-Man Annual #1, marking his first involvement on a comic book;[29] he and Miller also co-wrote a Marvel comic celebrating the company's 80th anniversary, marking Miller's first time writing a comic book.[30][31]

In September 2020, it was announced that a live-action television series based on the character Silk was in development, with both Lord and Miller serving as executive producers alongside Amy Pascal.[32]

FilmographyEdit

FilmsEdit

Year Title Director(s) Writer(s) Producer(s)
2008 Extreme Movie No Yes Executive (uncredited)
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Yes Yes Executive (uncredited)
2012 21 Jump Street Yes No No
2013 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 No Story Executive
2014 The Lego Movie Yes Yes Co-Executive (uncredited)
22 Jump Street Yes No Executive
2018 Solo: A Star Wars Story Uncredited No Executive
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse No Phil Lord Yes
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part No Yes Yes
2021 The Mitchells vs. The Machines No No Yes
2023 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse No Yes Yes
2024 Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse No Yes Yes
TBA Project Hail Mary[33] Yes No Yes
TBA The Premonition: A Pandemic Story[25] Yes No Yes
TBA Artemis Yes No No

Producers only

Executive producers only

Other creditsEdit

Year Title Notes
2007 Surf's Up Special Thanks
2014 Annie MoonQuake Lake scenes

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Creators / Showrunners Directors Writers Producers Notes
1999–2000 Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane No No Yes No Episode: "Crossing the Line"
2001 Go Fish No No Yes No Episode: "Go Wrestling"
2002–03 Clone High Yes Supervising Yes Executive 13 episodes
2003 Luis No No No Supervising 5 episodes
2004 Method & Red No No Yes Consulting 9 episodes
Episodes: "Well Well Well", "Da Shootout" and "A House Apart"
Cracking Up No No No Consulting 6 episodes
2005–06 How I Met Your Mother No No Yes Executive 17 episodes
Episodes: "Sweet Taste of Liberty" & "Belly Full of Turkey"
2013 Brooklyn Nine-Nine No Yes No Executive Episode: "Pilot"
2015–18 The Last Man on Earth No Yes No Executive 67 episodes
Episodes: "Alive in Tucson" & "The Elephant in the Room"
2022 The Afterparty[35] Christopher Miller Christopher Miller Yes Executive Miller: showrunner/director of all eight episodes/wrote “Aniq”, “Danner”, “Maggie”
Lord: wrote “Zoe”

Executive producers only

Acting creditsEdit

Year Title Role as Notes
Phil Lord Christopher Miller
1997 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back N/A Stormtrooper DVD re-release[36]
1998–99 Caroline in the City Bill Cliff 3 episodes
2002–03 Clone High Principal Dr. Cinnamon J. Scudworth /
Genghis Khan
JFK / Vice Principal Mr. Butlertron Voice roles, 13 episodes
2007 How I Met Your Mother Too Much Tongue Guy N/A Episode "How I Met Everyone Else"
2020 Lego Masters Himself Himself Episode "Movie Genes"

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Nominated work Result
2009 Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Nominated
2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature Nominated
Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Nominated
Annie Award for Directing in a Feature Production Nominated
Annie Award for Writing in a Feature Production Nominated
2012 Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Comedy 21 Jump Street Won
2013 People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Movie Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Comedy Nominated
Empire Award for Best Comedy Nominated
2014 Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movie[37] 22 Jump Street Won
National Board of Review: Top Ten Films[38] The Lego Movie Won
National Board of Review Award for Best Original Screenplay[38] Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Feature Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Film[39] Won
New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Animated Film Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Animated Film Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Picture Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Animated Film Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Film Won
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Film Won
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Film Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Feature Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Film Won
2015 People's Choice Award for Favorite Movie[40] 22 Jump Street Nominated
People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie[40] Won
People's Choice Award for Favorite Family Movie[40] The Lego Movie Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film[41] Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Comedy 22 Jump Street Nominated
Annie Award for Best Animated Feature[42] The Lego Movie Nominated
Annie Award for Directing in an Animated Feature Production[42] Nominated
Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Feature Production[42] Won
Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature[43] Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay[43] Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film Won
Saturn Award for Best Animated Film Won
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series The Last Man on Earth Nominated
Monmouth Award for Communication Excellence (MACE)[44] Lifetime contributions in the field of communications Won
2018 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture[45] (With Dan Lin) The Lego Batman Movie Nominated
2019 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Won
Best Animated Motion Picture (With Avi Arad, Amy Pascal and Christina Steinberg) Won
Annie Award for Writing in a Feature Production (Only Phil Lord) with Rodney Rothman Won
BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film (Only Phil Lord) Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film Won
Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
(With Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman)
Won
2020 Chicago Indie Critics for Best Animated Film (With Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Jinko Gotoh) The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Nominated
2021 Outstanding Achievement in Animation (SCAD Savannah Film Festival) The Mitchells vs. the Machines Won

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Buckley, Cara (June 6, 2014). "Lord and Miller, Directors With a Golden Touch". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  2. ^ Phil Lord (21 Jumpstreet, Clone High, Cloudy ...) - Breaking In To Hollywood With Chris Miller. Justin Dean. March 14, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2018 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ Phil Lord & Christopher Miller on the Very Long Hiatus of 'Clone High'. hollywoodoutbreak. September 12, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2018 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Rewriting Collective Insights: Phil Lord at TEDxCoconutGrove. TEDx Talks. October 11, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2018 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Elder, Robert K. The Best Film You've Never Seen: 35 Directors Champion the Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review, 2013. Print.
  6. ^ Busch, Anita (April 9, 2015). "'The Flash' Movie: 'Lego' Guys Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Building Warner Bros Pic". Deadline.com.
  7. ^ Fleming, Mike, Jr. "Sony Spins Animated Spider-Man With 'Lego' Filmmakers, Sets' Equalizer' Sequel And Dates Next Spidey". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 10, 2015). "Fox Gives Series Order To 'Son Of Zorn' Live-Action/Animated Comedy From 'Wilfred' Duo, Chris Miller & Phil Lord". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 30, 2015). "'Serial' TV Series Based On Podcast Set At Fox 21 With Christopher Miller & Phil Lord". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike, Jr. (March 3, 2017). "Netflix Sets First Animated Film 'America'; Channing Tatum Voicing George Washington". Deadline. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "Netflix's first animated film will star Channing Tatum as George Washington". The Verge. March 31, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (June 22, 2017). "Ron Howard Steps in to Direct Han Solo Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  13. ^ Stedman, Alex. "'Star Wars' Han Solo Film Loses Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  14. ^ "How the Han Solo film broke apart — with Ron Howard picking up the pieces". Entertainment Weekly. June 22, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  15. ^ Roettgers, Janko (March 23, 2018). "'Solo: A Star Wars Story': Phil Lord and Chris Miller Reveal Their Credit". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  16. ^ "Phil Lord and Chris Miller Talk About Their Han Solo Firing". ComingSoon.net. November 20, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  17. ^ Coggan, Devan (February 20, 2020). "First look: A family battles a robot uprising in Phil Lord and Chris Miller's 'Connected'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  18. ^ Otterson, Joe (June 24, 2020). "Chris Miller, Phil Lord Set Murder Mystery Comedy Series at Apple (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  19. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 20, 2022). "'Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse' Heads To Summer 2023; Sony Dates 'Madame Web', 'Equalizer 3' Among Other Release Changes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  20. ^ Chris Miller [@chrizmillr] (February 25, 2021). "Actually not true. Phil and I are writing with Dave Callaham. Phil is currently working on the script this very second. Peter is an EP and is totally involved. Plus there are some other creative team announcements coming soon" (Tweet). Retrieved February 25, 2021 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ Chitwood, Adam (July 2, 2020). "'Clone High' Reboot Coming to MTV from Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Bill Lawrence". Collider. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  22. ^ "HBO Max Orders Three Adult Animated Series, CLONE HIGH, VELMA and FIRED ON MARS, Picks Up Two More Seasons of CLOSE ENOUGH". pressroom.warnermedia.com. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 26, 2017). "Phil Lord & Christopher Miller To Direct Martian Author Andy Weir's New Novel Artemis". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 15, 2020). "Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Direct Ryan Gosling Astronaut Film (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Jackson, Angelique; Vary, Adam B. (May 10, 2021). "Phil Lord & Chris Miller to Direct 'The Premonition: A Pandemic Story,' Producing With Amy Pascal". Variety. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  26. ^ "Phil Lord, Chris Miller Developing Marvel TV Universe With Nine-Figure Sony Overall Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  27. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 2, 2019). "Phil Lord and Chris Miller Sign First-Look Deal With Universal Pictures". Variety. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  28. ^ "Lord and Miller Actually Want to Make That Hall & Oates Biopic from the Afterparty [Exclusive]". January 29, 2022.
  29. ^ "Spider-Verse's Phil Lord Joins Jason Latour on Spider-Man Annual #1". April 19, 2019.
  30. ^ "Phil Lord and Chris Miller Contributing to Mystery Marvel Comics Project". The Hollywood Reporter. May 9, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  31. ^ "Marvel Comics #1000 will span 80 years of Marvel history with 97 big-name creators". Polygon. May 10, 2019.
  32. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 3, 2020). "Silk Live-Action Marvel Series in the Works at Sony Pictures Television". Variety. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  33. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 15, 2020). "Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Direct Ryan Gosling Astronaut Film (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  34. ^ "Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx & Will Forte Go to the Dogs for Hybrid Flick 'Strays'". December 7, 2021.
  35. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/CHdnWKvJYA0/?igshid=18eax5v47fd45
  36. ^ Sciretta, Peter (December 22, 2021). "46 Rogue One Easter Eggs: How Many Of These Did You Catch?". /Film. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  37. ^ Malec, Brett (June 17, 2014). "Teen Choice 2014 Nominees: Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars Lead, Catching Fire Comes in Second". E! Online. NBC Universal. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  38. ^ a b "National Board of Review selects 'A Most Violent Year' as Best Film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  39. ^ "New York Film Critics Give 'Boyhood' Best Picture, Director & Supporting Actress". Deadline. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  40. ^ a b c "People's Choice Awards 2015: Full List Of Nominees". Blog.peopleschoice.com. November 4, 2014. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  41. ^ 72nd Annual Golden Globe® Awards Nominees Announced. Dickclark.com, Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  42. ^ a b c "42nd Annual Annie Awards Winners". Annie Awards. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  43. ^ a b "Birdman Leads Satellite Awards Nominations". The Wrap. December 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  44. ^ "'Lego Movie' filmmakers visit Monmouth U". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  45. ^ Dave McNary (January 5, 2018). "Producers Guild Awards: 'Get Out,' 'Wonder Woman' Among Film Nominees". Variety. Retrieved January 5, 2018.

External linksEdit