Netflix has picked up from Sony Pictures Animation the worldwide rights (excluding China) to “The Mitchells Vs. The Machines,” an animated film that’s produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were behind the Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
The film at one point had its title changed to “Connected” by the studio, but it has since gone back to its original title. The animated film was supposed to come out theatrically on October 23, 2020 and was then unset.
“The Mitchells Vs The Machines” stars Danny McBride, Abbi Jacobson, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman and Blake Griffin. No new release date has been set, but Netflix says it will arrive later this year.
The movie is a family comedy about how technology gets in the way of family connections and involves a father who plans a road trip sans phones or screens to his daughter’s new college, only for technology to start to rise up and attempt to take over the world. You can check out the trailer Sony originally released for the film under the name “Connected” here.
Mike Rianda directed “The Mitchells Vs The Machines,” and the film is co-directed by Jeff Rowe with a screenplay by Rianda and Rowe. Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht produced the film, and Will Allegra, Louis Koo Tin Lok executive produced.
The purchase from Sony comes on the heels of several other big moves for Netflix in the animated, family film space. The streamer also previously bought the international rights to Paramount’s “Spongebob: Sponge on the Run,” and it further acquired from Sony Animation the film “Wish Dragon.”
Netflix also recently unveiled its full film slate for 2021, boasting a new movie every week, including more than a few major blockbusters such as “Red Notice” with Dwayne Johnson, “tick, tick…BOOM!” from Lin-Manuel Miranda and “The Harder They Fall” with Idris Elba.
“We are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm Netflix has expressed for this movie with this acquisition and grateful to everyone at Sony for making a great picture with us and finding a big way to bring it to audiences,” Lord and Miller said in a statement. “We’re really proud of the film we all made together, plus we understand our subscription fees are waived in perpetuity as part of the deal? We’re not lawyers but it does sound right to us.”
“This is a very personal movie about my very weird family. I’m so grateful to all the incredible artists that poured their love and passion into this project to make it a reality, and to everyone at Sony who believed in us and were on board to make a different kind of animated movie,” director Rianda said in a statement. “I’m so thrilled that everyone at Netflix has been totally in sync with us creatively and are just as excited about the movie as we are! Not only because it’s an original story with a creative visual style that we’re extremely proud of, but also so I can prove to my friends that this five-year journey wasn’t an elaborate delusion on my part.”
“We want Netflix to be the place where families can come and enjoy stories together. And while we know no two families are the same, we think The Mitchells will immediately endear themselves to yours. It’s an honor to work with Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Mike Rianda to bring this incredibly special film to members around the world,” Melissa Cobb, vice president of Original Animation, Netflix, said in a statement.
For the record: A previous version of this story said the film was meant to come out on March 12 theatrically.