Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/AMPAS
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller — the Oscar-winning filmmakers behind The Lego Movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and 21 Jump Street — have signed a five-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television reportedly worth nine figures (in US dollars). As part of the agreement, through their Lord Miller Productions banner, the duo will develop live-action and animated series in the comedy and drama genres, which will include multiple TV shows based in Sony's Marvel universe, now referred to as Spider-Verse since the animated film's critical and commercial success.
According to Deadline, the Spider-Verse TV project was a “major selling point” for Sony Pictures Television, as it competed with other Hollywood studios and an unnamed streaming service to sign them. Lord and Miller just finished a nine-year pact with Twentieth Century Fox Television, which is now owned by Disney. (The two were infamously fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story deep into production.) As part of the deal, the two are free to develop their own projects for other platforms and develop and supervise other writers' projects.
“We are so grateful to everyone at Sony Pictures Television for choosing to partner with us and expand our enduring relationship with the studio,” Lord and Miller said in a prepared statement. “Together we aim to make groundbreaking work of the highest quality and integrity, and to place that work in convenient proximity to your eyeballs and earholes, wherever you may be.”
“This is a significant milestone for our television business, having the opportunity to work with two of the most creative forces in the industry in both our film and television businesses,” Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins said. “Building on our strong IP and creating new franchises has been a key focus for [Sony Pictures Entertainment], and the best way to do that is to invest in remarkable storytellers like Phil and Chris. We are thrilled to welcome them to the [Sony Television] family, and I want to thank Jeff [Frost], Chris [Parnell] and Jason [Clodfelter] for all their hard work in pulling this deal together.”
“Phil and Chris have reimagined every medium and genre they have touched,” Sony Pictures Television Studios president Jeff Frost added. “Whether it's television, features or animation, they have created their own unique brand and style. We are so excited to be working with these brilliant creators and showrunners and are looking forward to collaborating with them in every aspect of television – comedy, drama, animation and beyond.”
Lord and Miller made their directorial debut with the 2009 animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and then followed it up with the live-action action comedy 21 Jump Street — starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum — in 2012. They then delivered the subversive animated hit The Lego Movie in 2014, which has since spawned a franchise. 2014 also brought 22 Jump Street, a sequel to the original. The duo won an Oscar for 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was produced by both and co-written by Lord.
Their upcoming directorial projects including an adaptation of Artemis, the sci-fi novel from Andy Weir, the author of The Martian, which has already been turned into a blockbuster film. They are also developing The Last Human, an upcoming book that centres on a robot running into a 12-year-old girl, set in a world where humanity has been extinct for three decades.