The pair recently won the best animated movie Oscar for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which they produced. Additionally, the series originated by the duo, including “21 Jump Street,” “The LEGO Movie” and “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” have grossed more than $3.3 billion at the global box office.
This marks the first overall feature deal for the team, which has purposefully remained independent producers on the film side. With the expansion of their Lord Miller production banner, including the addition of Aditya Sood as president of film and an expansive five-year overall television deal with Sony Pictures Television, a first-look deal on the features side was a logical next step.
“Universal has a history of breaking new ground and championing unexpected voices, so for us it’s a very welcoming environment to make bold, original films that push the medium forward,” said Lord and Miller in a statement. “We also feel a deep obligation to leave something behind for future generations of studio executives to reboot. We’re very grateful to Donna [Langley], Peter [Cramer] and the entire Universal team for inviting us to partner with them in reaching that goal.”
Under the new deal, Lord Miller will develop features in both comedy and drama based on original content, existing IP and other media formats with an emphasis on championing fresh voices. Sood will lead Lord Miller’s motion picture group, which includes longtime film executives Will Allegra and Rebecca Karch, who serve as senior vice president and vice president, respectively.
“In this competitive landscape, our ongoing ambition is to partner with visionary filmmakers who have true authorship and a voice that is unmistakable,” said Universal chairman Donna Langley. “Phil and Chris speak to the culture and have brought their singular, original perspective to every project they’ve touched. We are thrilled to collaborate with them and welcome them to the Universal family.”
Lord Miller has several projects in various stages of development, including Fox’s “Artemis” based on the novel by Andy Weir and the live-action tentpole “The Last Human” for Sony, both of which the pair will direct.
Lord Miller’s deal was brokered by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.