Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Miller (left) and Lord at the 2015 WonderCon
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College|
|Occupation||Filmmakers, actors, animators|
|Spouse(s)||Robyn Murgio (Miller)|
Philip A. 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 (2014). They also co-produced the television series The Last Man on Earth for Fox Broadcasting Company and Unikitty! for Cartoon Network.
According to The New York Times, Lord is from Miami; his mother is a Cuban-born psychologist, and his father recently 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was released in 2009 to critical acclaim. 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, once again 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."
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. The duo were also picked up in 2015 by Sony Pictures Animation to make an animated Spider-Man film with the option to direct.
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. They are also producing a cable-TV drama based on the popular NPR/This American Life spinoff podcast Serial.
Also, they will produce an R-rated animated Netflix original film called America: The Motion Picture alongside Will Allegra, Matt Thompson, Adam Reid, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan from a screenplay by David Callaham and directed by Thompson.
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. 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. Lord and Miller received executive-producer credits on Solo: A Star Wars Story.
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."
Following their departure from Solo, Lord and Miller are now set to direct Artemis, an adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel of the same name, to be released in November 2020. They will also executive produce and possibly direct a new TV series, Business as Usual from writer Hayes Davenport.
|2008||Extreme Movie||No||Yes||No||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||Yes||No||Voice role: additional voices|
|2012||21 Jump Street||Yes||No||No||No|
|2013||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2||No||No||Yes||Executives||Co-story writers with Erica Rivinoja|
|2014||The Lego Movie||Yes||No||Co-story writers with Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman|
Voice role: TV Presenter (Christopher Miller)
|22 Jump Street||Yes||No||No||Executives|
|The Lego Batman Movie||No||No||No||Yes|
|The Lego Ninjago Movie||No||No||No||Yes|
|2018||Solo: A Star Wars Story||Uncredited||No||No||Executives||Replaced as directors by Ron Howard|
|Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse||No||Phil Lord||Yes||Screenplay co-written with Rodney Rothman|
|2019||The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part||No||Yes||Post-production|
|2020||The Mitchells vs. The Machines||No||No||No||Yes||In production|
|1998–2000||Caroline in the City||No||No||No||Roles: Bill (Lord) and Cliff (Miller)|
|1999||Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane||No||Yes||No||Episode: " Crossing the Line"|
|2000||Go Fish||No||Yes||No||Episode: "Go Wrestling"|
|2002–2003||Clone High||Yes||Yes||Yes||Role: Principal Dr. Cinnamon J. Scudworth, Genghis Khan (Lord) / JFK, Mr. Butlertron (Miller);|
also creators, supervising directors, and supervising producers
|Method & Red||No||Yes||No||Episode: "Well Well Well"|
|2005–2006||How I Met Your Mother||No||Yes||Yes||Episodes: "Sweet Taste of Liberty", "Belly Full of Turkey"|
|2013||Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Yes||No||Yes||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2015–2018||The Last Man on Earth||Yes||No||Yes||Episodes: "Alive in Tucson", "The Elephant in the Room"|
|2016–2017||Son of Zorn||No||No||Executive|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Series||No||No||No||Executive consultants|
Business as Usual
- Buckley, Cara (6 June 2014). "Lord and Miller, Directors With a Golden Touch". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- Justin Dean (14 March 2012). "Phil Lord (21 Jumpstreet, Clone High, Cloudy . . .) - Breaking In To Hollywood With Chris Miller". YouTube. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- hollywoodoutbreak (September 12, 2009). "PHIL LORD & CHRISTOPHER MILLER ON THE VERY LONG HIATUS OF 'CLONE HIGH'". YouTube. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- TEDx Talks (October 11, 2012). "Rewriting Collective Insights: Phil Lord at TEDxCoconutGrove". YouTube. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- 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.
- Busch, Anita (April 9, 2015). "'The Flash' Movie: 'Lego' Guys Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Building Warner Bros Pic". Deadline.com.
- Fleming Jr., Mike. "Sony Spins Animated Spider-Man With 'Lego' Filmmakers, Sets' Equalizer' Sequel And Dates Next Spidey". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jr, Mike Fleming (March 3, 2017). "Netflix Sets First Animated Film 'America'; Channing Tatum Voicing George Washington". Deadline. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- "Netflix's first animated film will star Channing Tatum as George Washington". The Verge. March 31, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- Kit, Borys (June 22, 2017). "Ron Howard Steps in to Direct Han Solo Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- Stedman, Alex. "'Star Wars' Han Solo Film Loses Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- "How the Han Solo film broke apart — with Ron Howard picking up the pieces". Entertainment Weekly. June 22, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- Roettgers, Janko (March 23, 2018). "'Solo: A Star Wars Story': Phil Lord and Chris Miller Reveal Their Credit". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- "Phil Lord and Chris Miller Talk About Their Han Solo Firing". ComingSoon.net. November 20, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- Pedersen, Erik (May 22, 2018). "'The Mitchells Vs. The Machines': Chris Miller & Phil Lord To Produce AI-Gone-Wild Toon For Sony". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- 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.
- "National Board of Review selects 'A Most Violent Year' as Best Film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- "New York Film Critics Give 'Boyhood' Best Picture, Director & Supporting Actress". Deadline. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- "People's Choice Awards 2015: Full List Of Nominees". Blog.peopleschoice.com. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- 72ND ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE® AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED. Dickclark.com, Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "42nd Annual Annie Awards Winners". Annie Awards. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- "Birdman Leads Satellite Awards Nominations". The Wrap. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- "'Lego Movie' filmmakers visit Monmouth U". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
- Dave McNary (January 5, 2018). "Producers Guild Awards: 'Get Out,' 'Wonder Woman' Among Film Nominees". Variety. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
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