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). Lord and Miller also served as producers on the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), with Lord co-writing the film's screenplay alongside Rodney Rothman as well as the film's story. For the film, Lord and Miller were co-winners of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. 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 film was eventually made as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), which they produced and which Lord co-wrote.
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 crs 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||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|
|2018||Solo: A Star Wars Story||Uncred||No||Executive||Replaced as directors by Ron Howard|
|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|
|The Last Human||Yes||No||Yes|
|The Lego Batman Movie|
|The Lego Ninjago Movie|
|2020||The Mitchells vs. The Machines||In production|
|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||Executive||Also creators, supervising directors, and supervising producers|
|2004||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||Executive||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2015–2018||The Last Man on Earth||Yes||No||Executive||Episodes: "Alive in Tucson", "The Elephant in the Room"|
Business as Usual
|2004||Cracking Up||Consulting producers|
|2016–2017||Son of Zorn||Executive producers|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Series||Executive consultants|
|1998–1999||Caroline in the City||Bill||3 episodes|
|2002–2003||Clone High||Principal Dr. Cinnamon J. Scudworth and Genghis Khan||Voice roles|
|2009||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Additional Voices|
|1998–1999||Caroline in the City||Cliff||3 episodes|
|2002–2003||Clone High||JFK and Vice Principal Mr. Butlertron||Voice roles|
|2009||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Additional Voices|
|2014||The Lego Movie||TV Presenter|
|2018||Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse||Additional Voices|
|2019||The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part||Horse, Chocolate Bar, Plantimals, Paper Boy and Chad|
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||Solo: A Star Wars Story||Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse||The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part|
|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||22 Jump Street||Won|
|National Board of Review: Top Ten Films||The Lego Movie||Won|
|National Board of Review Award for Best Original Screenplay||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||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||22 Jump Street||Nominated|
|People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie||Won|
|People's Choice Award for Favorite Family Movie||The Lego Movie||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film||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||The Lego Movie||Nominated|
|Annie Award for Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Nominated|
|Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Won|
|Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Nominated|
|Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay||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)||Lifetime contributions in the field of communications||Won|
|2018||Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture (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|
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