Of all the relatively new hit directors on the scene, Phil Lord and Chris Miller may be the most sought after. They turned “The LEGO Movie” into a surprise hit that launched a spin-off universe that could become the Marvel Cinematic Universe equivalent of animation, and they turned the “Jump Street” series into one of the most successful R-Rated comedy franchise of all time. On the heels of that success, studios came running with offers. Sony wanted them for the “Ghostbusters” reboot and the studio eventually landed them for a “Spider-Man” animated movie. Warner Bros. wanted them to write and direct the D.C. Universe installment of “The Flash,” but instead they turned it down for an offer they couldn’t refuse: LucasFilm and Disney asking them to write and direct a young Han Solo “Star Wars” Anthology film.
The duo are so busy they’ve had to give up other projects as well. They’ll only be producing “The LEGO Movie” sequel, and they just decided they will not direct “23 Jump Street” either. While attending the Television Critics Association press tour to represent their TV show, ‘The Last Man on Earth,” Chris Miller told Slashfilm they’ve have to bow out of the directors chair on the next ‘Jump Street’ film. He said, “We are hard at work on ’23 Jump Street,’ which I think we will probably just produce from a time standpoint. But we’ve been working really hard. We’ve got a really good first draft of a script in and we’re really excited about it.”
This makes total sense as the writing duties on ‘Han Solo’ will likely take precedent, plus they are actively developing the “Spider-Man” animated movie, overseeing the second season of “The Last Man On Earth,” and so much more. They have their work cut out for them. Will “23 Jump Street” crossover with “Men In Black,”as was the original idea? That remains to be seen, but last we heard that was the concept moving forward.
Miller recently spoke to IGN about the ‘Han Solo’ project and the “Spider-Man” movie. “I could talk to you for a day about why he is the perfect blend of rogue-ish cowboy… Morally ambiguous, but has a clear moral compass,” he said about the Han Solo character. “He’s funny, he’s off the cuff… When I was a kid on the playground, fights were about who got to play Han Solo. He’s just one of the best characters ever created.”
Miller said the challenge is to create something new and fresh, but also honor the “Star Wars” past. “So we’ve definitely got that motivation and then the rest of it is about trying to give audiences a fresh experience that doesn’t feel like you’re just trying to check off some checklist of beats that you’re expecting and make something that feels new and exciting for people, but at the same time honoring what was so great about that character.”
Miller couldn’t say too much about “Spider-Man,” but he did offer this: “It is not just another Peter Parker origin story that you’ve seen 400 times. It is something totally unique and different and not like anything you’ve seen. That’s all I can say… and you’re going to love it!”
“Spider-Man” the animated movie swings into theaters July 20, 2018. The ‘Han Solo’ movie hits on Memorial Day, 2018. How will they manage both? They’re only writing the former and will hand it off to other animators to complete.