Universal Pictures and Lord Miller, led by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, have signed a first-look production deal, the studio announced Friday.
Where the pair would set up shop was a highly competitive situation before Lord and Miller decided to make a deal with Universal, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.
The duo recently won the Best Animated Feature Oscar for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which they produced. Their writing and directing credits include “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” “21 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie,” which have grossed more than $3.3 billion at the global box office.
This deal marks the first overall feature deal for the filmmakers. Under the new deal, Lord Miller will develop features on both the comedy and drama side based on original content, existing IP and other media formats. Additionally, Aditya Sood, who was recently named as the head of film for the banner, will lead the motion picture group, which also includes Will Allegra and Rebecca Karch, who serve as SVP and VP of the company.
In April, the duo signed a five-year exclusive overall deal with Sony Pictures Television.
“In this competitive landscape, our ongoing ambition is to partner with visionary filmmakers who have true authorship and a voice that is unmistakable,” Donna Langley, Chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, said in a statement. “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 and Miller added: “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. We also feel a deep obligation to leave something behind for future generations of studio executives to reboot. We’re very grateful to Donna, Peter and the entire Universal team for inviting us to partner with them in reaching that goal.”
On the TV side, Lord and Miller’s credits include FOX’s “The Last Man on Earth.” Lord Miller has several projects in the works, including FOX’s “Artemis” and the live-action film “The Last Human” for Sony. They also have the animated series, “Bless the Harts,” in the works, which will debut this fall.
Lord Miller’s deal was brokered by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.