Phil Lord and Chris Miller Talk Will Forte’s “Crazy and Wonderful” Fox Series THE LAST MAN ON EARTH; Reveal It Will Consist of 10 Episodes

     June 13, 2014


Though directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have gained considerable notoriety in recent years with excellent films like 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, the duo actually got their start in television with the short-lived animated series Clone High.  They dipped their toes back into the TV waters last year by helming the pilot for Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but they’ll have a more hands-on role in the ambitious upcoming Fox comedy The Last Man on Earth.  Lord and Miller hatched the idea for the series with Will Forte, who stars as the literal last human being on Earth.  The teaser trailer promised something unlike anything else on network TV, and that’s exactly what Lord, Miller, and Forte are crafting.

While speaking with Lord and Miller in anticipation of the upcoming 22 Jump Street, Steve also asked the two about their involvement with The Last Man on Earth.  They revealed that the season will likely consist of just 10 episodes, they’re directing the first few, and they’ve been in the writers room working on the first set of scripts.  Hit the jump for more.

the-last-man-on-earth-will-forteThough Lord and Miller are executive producers on the fantastic Brooklyn Nine-Nine and directed the pilot, they didn’t have much to do with the day-to-day of the show once the series took off.  With The Last Man on Earth, however, they’ll be much more hands-on:

MILLER: It’s for Fox but it is very much unlike any other network show that you’ve ever seen where he is actually the last man on Earth.  It’s crazy and wonderful and we’ve been in the writers room for that and we’re working on the first set of scripts.  We’re gonna direct the first few episodes of it as well.

Steve asked if comparisons to the graphic novel Y: The Last Man would be warranted, but the duo explained that Forte’s character is the literal last human being on the planet:

MILLER: It’s very, very different [from Y: The Last Man].  There’s a virus that’s wiped out everybody.  It’s not like there’s million of women around. 

LORD: [He is] the last person. The last representative of mankind. 

the-last-man-on-earth-will-forteOne might wonder how an entire TV series can sustain that central conceit, but the two added that the show has other unexpected elements:

MILLER: There’s twists and turns along the way.  There’s a whole arc that goes on and it’s very interesting. 

LORD: It’s really special and it’s the reason we got back into television, to tell stories like that, that require a longer time to develop. 

Moreover, they revealed that The Last Man on Earth won’t carry the traditional 22-episode first season that most network series follow, saying this is a much shorter run:

MILLER: I believe it’s like a 10-episode [season] because Will wanted to keep it short so he could do movies and things like that.  So it really is like an HBO or Netflix-type model that Fox agreed to do.

It’s unclear if they mean that the entirety of The Last Man on Earth is just a limited 10-episode series, or if each season will be 10 episodes.  Either way, I can’t wait to see the finished result.  In any other hands, this premise might be a recipe for disaster.  But with Forte, Lord, and Miller putting everything they’ve got into a project they’re passionate about, I have no doubt that The Last Man on Earth will be something special.  Fox has slated the series to debut in early 2015.

Watch the portion of the interview regarding The Last Man on Earth and the current television landscape below, and check out what the two had to say about a Clone High movie and The LEGO Movie 2 if you missed them.

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Here’s more from our interview with Lord and Miller:

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