Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

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Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Chris Miller & Phil Lord by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Miller (left) and Lord at the 2015 WonderCon
Born
Philip Anderson Lucas Fra Angelico Lord [1]
(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 materDartmouth College
OccupationFilmmakers, actors, animators
Years active1998–present
Notable work
Spouse(s)Robyn Murgio (Miller)
Children2 (Miller)

Philip A. Lord (born July 12, 1975, sometimes credited as Phil Lord) and Christopher Robert Miller (born September 23, 1975, sometimes credited as Chris Miller) 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.

Early life[edit]

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.[2]

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.[3]

Career[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5]

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was released in 2009 to positive to mixed 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, 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."[6]

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.[7] 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 film was eventually made as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), which they produced and which Lord co-wrote.[8]

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.[9] They are also producing a cable-TV drama based on the popular NPR/This American Life spinoff podcast Serial.[10]

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.[11][12][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.[13] 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.[14][15] Lord and Miller received executive-producer credits on Solo: A Star Wars Story.[16]

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."[17]

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,[18] as well as a first-look deal with Universal Pictures.[19] Lord will co-write the comic Spider-Man Annual #1, marking his first involvement on a comic book.[20] He and Miller will also co-write a Marvel comic celebrating the company's 80th anniversary, marking Miller's first time writing a comic book.[21][22] Lord and Miller are set to produce The Mitchells vs. The Machines.[23]

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Filmmaking credits[edit]

Year Title Director(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Notes
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 Yes No
2012 21 Jump Street Yes No No
2013 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 No Story Executive Co-story writers with Erica Rivinoja
2014 The Lego Movie Yes Yes No Co-story writers with Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman
22 Jump Street Yes No Executive
2016 Storks No No Executive
2017 Brigsby Bear No No Yes
The Lego Batman Movie No No Yes
The Lego Ninjago Movie No No Yes
2018 Solo: A Star Wars Story Uncredited No Executive Replaced as directors by Ron Howard
Smallfoot No No Executive
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse No Phil Lord Yes Story writer (Lord only), screenplay co-written with Rodney Rothman (Lord only)
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part No Yes Yes Co-story writers with Matthew Fogel
2020 The Mitchells vs. The Machines No No Yes In development
2021 Artemis Yes No No
TBA The Last Human[24] Yes No Yes
The Billion Brick Race No No Yes

Acting credits[edit]

Year Title Role as Notes
Phil Lord Christopher Miller
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Additional Voices Additional Voices Voice roles
2014 The Lego Movie None TV Presenter
2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse None Additional Voices
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part None Horse / Chocolate Bar / Plantimals / Paper Boy / Chad
TBA Bucks of America None Militia Soldier

Television[edit]

Filmmaking credits[edit]

Year Title Directors Writers Producers Notes
1999-2000 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 Executive 13 episodes; also co-creators and supervising directors
2003 Luis No No Supervising 5 episodes
2004 Method & Red No Yes Consulting 9 episodes
Episodes: "Well Well Well," "Da Shootout" and "A House Apart"
Cracking Up No No Consulting 6 episodes
2005–2006 How I Met Your Mother No Yes Yes 17 episodes
Episodes: "Sweet Taste of Liberty" & "Belly Full of Turkey"
2013 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Yes No Executive Episode: "Pilot"
2015–2018 The Last Man on Earth Yes No Executive 67 episodes
Episodes: "Alive in Tucson" & "The Elephant in the Room"
2016–2017 Son of Zorn No No Executive 13 episodes
2017 Making History No No Executive 9 episodes
2017–present Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Series No No No Executive consultants
Unikitty! No No Executive
2019–present Bless the Harts No No Executive

Acting credits[edit]

Year Title Role as Notes
Phil Lord Christopher Miller
1998–1999 Caroline in the City Bill Cliff 3 episodes
2002–2003 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 None Episode "How I Met Everyone Else"

Recurring (acting) collaborators[edit]

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 NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN
Bill Hader NoN NoN NoN
Anna Faris NoN NoN NoN
Jake Johnson NoN NoN NoN
Jonah Hill NoN NoN NoN NoN
Nick Offerman NoN NoN NoN NoN
Channing Tatum NoN NoN NoN NoN
Jason Sudekis NoN NoN
Kristen Schaal NoN NoN
Johnny Pemberton NoN NoN NoN
Jorma Taccone NoN NoN NoN

Accolades[edit]

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[25] 22 Jump Street Won
National Board of Review: Top Ten Films[26] The Lego Movie Won
National Board of Review Award for Best Original Screenplay[26] 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[27] 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[28] 22 Jump Street Nominated
People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie[28] Won
People's Choice Award for Favorite Family Movie[28] The Lego Movie Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film[29] 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[30] The Lego Movie Nominated
Annie Award for Directing in an Animated Feature Production[30] Nominated
Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Feature Production[30] Won
Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature[31] Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay[31] 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)[32] Lifetime contributions in the field of communications Won
2018 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture[33] (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

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://twitter.com/philiplord/status/1197049032197079040?s=21
  2. ^ Buckley, Cara (June 6, 2014). "Lord and Miller, Directors With a Golden Touch". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Phil Lord & Christopher Miller on the Very Long Hiatus of 'Clone High'. hollywoodoutbreak. September 12, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2018 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Rewriting Collective Insights: Phil Lord at TEDxCoconutGrove. TEDx Talks. October 11, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2018 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Busch, Anita (April 9, 2015). "'The Flash' Movie: 'Lego' Guys Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Building Warner Bros Pic". Deadline.com.
  8. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike. "Sony Spins Animated Spider-Man With 'Lego' Filmmakers, Sets' Equalizer' Sequel And Dates Next Spidey". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b Jr, Mike Fleming (March 3, 2017). "Netflix Sets First Animated Film 'America'; Channing Tatum Voicing George Washington". Deadline. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  12. ^ "Netflix's first animated film will star Channing Tatum as George Washington". The Verge. March 31, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (June 22, 2017). "Ron Howard Steps in to Direct Han Solo Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  14. ^ Stedman, Alex. "'Star Wars' Han Solo Film Loses Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  15. ^ "How the Han Solo film broke apart — with Ron Howard picking up the pieces". Entertainment Weekly. June 22, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  16. ^ Roettgers, Janko (March 23, 2018). "'Solo: A Star Wars Story': Phil Lord and Chris Miller Reveal Their Credit". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  17. ^ "Phil Lord and Chris Miller Talk About Their Han Solo Firing". ComingSoon.net. November 20, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  18. ^ "Phil Lord, Chris Miller Developing Marvel TV Universe With Nine-Figure Sony Overall Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 2, 2019). "Phil Lord and Chris Miller Sign First-Look Deal With Universal Pictures". Variety. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  20. ^ https://www.cbr.com/phil-lord-spider-man-annual/
  21. ^ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/phil-lord-chris-miller-contributing-mystery-marvel-comics-project-1209260
  22. ^ https://www.polygon.com/2019/5/10/18564573/marvel-comics-80th-anniversary-1000-book
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Phil Lord, Chris Miller Sci-Fi Project 'Last Human' Sparking Bidding War (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ a b "National Board of Review selects 'A Most Violent Year' as Best Film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  27. ^ "New York Film Critics Give 'Boyhood' Best Picture, Director & Supporting Actress". Deadline. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  28. ^ a b c "People's Choice Awards 2015: Full List Of Nominees". Blog.peopleschoice.com. November 4, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  29. ^ 72nd Annual Golden Globe® Awards Nominees Announced. Dickclark.com, Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  30. ^ a b c "42nd Annual Annie Awards Winners". Annie Awards. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  31. ^ a b "Birdman Leads Satellite Awards Nominations". The Wrap. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  32. ^ "'Lego Movie' filmmakers visit Monmouth U". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  33. ^ Dave McNary (January 5, 2018). "Producers Guild Awards: 'Get Out,' 'Wonder Woman' Among Film Nominees". Variety. Retrieved January 5, 2018.

External links[edit]