Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

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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 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Born
Philip Anderson Lord
(1975-07-12) July 12, 1975 (age 44)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Christopher Robert Miller
(1975-09-23) September 23, 1975 (age 44)
Everett, Washington, U.S.
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Occupation Filmmakers, actors, animators
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)Robyn Murgio (Miller)
Children2 (Miller)

Philip Anderson Lord (born July 12, 1975) and Christopher Robert Miller (born September 23, 1975) are an American filmmaking duo. Having met at Dartmouth College, they are known for 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! for Cartoon Network.

Contents

Early life

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. On campus, the two 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 for Disney Television Animation. [2]

Career

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. After the film was released, the two sought to try to make something different from Cloudy 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 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 will produce 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] [10]

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]

Lord and Miller are now set to direct two projects following their departure from Solo: Artemis , an adaptation of Andy Weir's novel of the same name for 20th Century Fox, and The Last Human for Sony's TriStar Pictures. They also made a five-year deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop animated Marvel series, including a possible Into the Spider-Verse series, [17] as well as a first-look deal with Universal Pictures. [18] Lord co-wrote the comic Spider-Man Annual #1, marking his first involvement on a comic book; [19] he and Miller also co-wrote a Marvel comic celebrating the company's 80th anniversary, marking Miller's first time writing a comic book. [20] [21] Lord and Miller are also set to produce Connected for Sony Pictures Animation. [22] On November 1, 2019, it was announced that Lord and Miller would be returning as producers for the Untitled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel , which is set to be released on October 7, 2022. [23] [24] 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 Marry for MGM, with Ryan Gosling attached to star in the leading role and Amy Pascal producing. [25] 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 . [26] 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. [27]

Filmography

Films

YearTitle Director(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Notes
2008 Extreme Movie NoYesexecutive (uncredited)Co-writers with Adam J. Epstein, Will Forte, Andy Jacobsen, Andy Samberg,
Akiva Schaffer, John Solomon, Jorma Taccone and Erica Rivinoja
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs YesYesexecutive (uncredited)
2012 21 Jump Street YesNoNo
2013 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 NoStoryExecutiveCo-story writers with Erica Rivinoja
2014 The Lego Movie YesYesCo-executive (uncredited)Co-story writers with Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman
22 Jump Street YesNoExecutive
2016 Storks NoNoExecutive
2017 Brigsby Bear NoNoYes
The Lego Batman Movie NoNoYes
The Lego Ninjago Movie NoNoYes
2018 Solo: A Star Wars Story UncreditedNoExecutiveReplaced as directors by Ron Howard
Smallfoot NoNoExecutive
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse NoPhil LordYesStory writer (Lord only), screenplay co-written with Rodney Rothman (Lord only)
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part NoYesYesCo-story writers with Matthew Fogel
2020 Connected NoNoYes
2022 Untitled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel NoNoYes

Acting credits

YearTitleRole asNotes
Phil LordChristopher Miller
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Additional VoicesAdditional VoicesVoice roles
2014 The Lego Movie NoneTV Presenter
2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse NoneCop on the radio
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part NoneHorse / Chocolate Bar / Plantimals / Paper Boy / Chad
TBABucks of AmericaNoneMilitia Soldier

Television

YearTitle Directors Writers Producers Notes
1999–2000 Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane NoYesNoEpisode: "Crossing the Line"
2000 Go Fish NoYesNoEpisode: "Go Wrestling"
2002–2003 Clone High YesYesExecutive13 episodes; also co-creators and supervising directors
2003 Luis NoNoSupervising5 episodes
2004 Method & Red NoYesConsulting9 episodes
Episodes: "Well Well Well," "Da Shootout" and "A House Apart"
Cracking Up NoNoConsulting6 episodes
2005–2006 How I Met Your Mother NoYesYes17 episodes
Episodes: "Sweet Taste of Liberty" & "Belly Full of Turkey"
2013 Brooklyn Nine-Nine YesNoExecutiveEpisode: "Pilot"
2015–2018 The Last Man on Earth YesNoExecutive67 episodes
Episodes: "Alive in Tucson" & "The Elephant in the Room"
2016–2017 Son of Zorn NoNoExecutive13 episodes
2017 Making History NoNoExecutive9 episodes
2017–present Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Series NoNoNoExecutive consultants
Unikitty! NoNoExecutive
2019–present Bless the Harts NoNoExecutive

Acting credits

YearTitleRole asNotes
Phil LordChristopher Miller
1998–1999 Caroline in the City BillCliff3 episodes
2002–2003 Clone High Principal Dr. Cinnamon J. Scudworth / Genghis KhanJFK / Vice Principal Mr. ButlertronVoice roles, 13 episodes
2007 How I Met Your Mother Too Much Tongue GuyNoneEpisode "How I Met Everyone Else"
2020 Lego Masters HimselfHimselfEpisode "Movie Genes"

Recurring (acting) collaborators

The following contains a list of recurring actors in films and TV shows directed, produced, and/or wrote by Lord and Miller.

Clone High Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 21 Jump Street Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 The Lego Movie 22 Jump Street The Last Man on Earth Son of Zorn Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Will Forte Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Bill Hader Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Anna Faris Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Jake Johnson Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Jonah Hill Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Nick Offerman Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Channing Tatum Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Jason Sudekis Black x.svgBlack x.svg
Kristen Schaal Black x.svgBlack x.svg
Johnny Pemberton Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Jorma Taccone Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg
Rob Riggle Black x.svgBlack x.svgBlack x.svg

Accolades

YearAwardNominated workResult
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 [28] 22 Jump Street Won
National Board of Review: Top Ten Films [29] The Lego Movie Won
National Board of Review Award for Best Original Screenplay [29] 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 [30] 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 FilmWon
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 [31] 22 Jump StreetNominated
People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie [31] Won
People's Choice Award for Favorite Family Movie [31] The Lego MovieNominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film [32] Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Comedy 22 Jump StreetNominated
Annie Award for Best Animated Feature [33] The Lego Movie Nominated
Annie Award for Directing in an Animated Feature Production [33] Nominated
Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Feature Production [33] Won
Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature [34] Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay [34] 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) [35] Lifetime contributions in the field of communicationsWon
2018Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture [36] (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
2020Chicago Indie Critics for Best Animated Film (With Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Jinko Gotoh) The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Nominated

See also

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Phil Lord and Christopher Millers unrealized projects

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References

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  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.
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  21. https://www.polygon.com/2019/5/10/18564573/marvel-comics-80th-anniversary-1000-book
  22. 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.
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  27. Chitwood, Adam (July 2, 2020). "'Clone High' Reboot Coming to MTV from Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Bill Lawrence". Collider. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  28. 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.
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