Phil Lord and Chris Miller Reveal They’ve Been Offered a Superhero Movie; Talk the Possibility of Directing a Drama, Playing the “Failure Card”, and THE REUNION

     June 11, 2014


Coming off the success of 21 Jump Street, The LEGO Movie, and now 22 Jump Street, many are wondering what directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will do next.  They’re both exciting and talented filmmakers who have shown a knack for tackling pretty much any kind of material and turning it into gold, and some have been wondering if/when they might apply their talents to the biggest genre around: the superhero movie.  The genre seems to be at the height of its popularity with no signs of slowing down, and though there are a litany of projects that would benefit from Lord and Miller’s involvement, comics fans are interested to see what they might do with superhero-centric material.

During an extended conversation in anticipation of the release of 22 Jump Street, Steve asked Lord and Miller if they’ve been offered any superhero films (no surprise: they have) and what it would take for them to sign on to such a project.  With regards to future films, they addressed playing “the failure card” (ie. doing an offbeat passion project directly after a big success) and discussed the prospect of directing a drama sometime in the future, citing the work of the Coen brothers as a tonal aspiration.  Moreover, they provided a brief update on The Reunion.  Read on after the jump.

22-jump-street-chris-miller-phil-lordLord and Miller admitted that they have been offered superhero material in the past, but they cautioned that there’s nothing in the immediate future:

MILLER: We’ve been talking to people about lots of different things, and there’s lots of things that excite us. 

LORD: But there’s nothing imminent. 

Miller added that the two are mainly just exhausted after doing The LEGO Movie and 22 Jump Street back-to-back, and the two pointed out that a superhero film is such a massive endeavor that they would have to be genuinely passionate about the material to sign on: 

LORD: These projects are so big 

MILLER: And they take years of your life. 

LORD: And then you get identified with that. 

MILLER: And we don’t wanna make things that we’re not so passionate about creatively and excited about because you have to give so much of yourself to it… We haven’t committed to anything yet, I mean we’re talking to people about things and there’s lots of things that are very intriguing for sure, but let me take a nap first. 

LORD: If it feels like a job, then you’ve failed… It comes down to, do we have a killer idea for it?  Does inspiration strike? 

phil-lord-chris-millerWhile I’m game for whatever kind of project Lord and Miller spark to, I’m very interested to see what they’d do with something more dramatic given that their films all have very strong emotional anchors.  The two said they’re not opposed to directing a drama, but it probably wouldn’t be something entirely serious: 

MILLER: We’ve been talking about some things in the drama space.  It’d be hard to do something completely humorless, that was like bleak and sad, a gritty coal miner drama or something.  But hopefully our careers are long enough that we can do all sorts of different types of movies, because we’re just fans of movies in general. 

Lord noted that if they did delve into dramatic territory, it’d probably be something more in line with a Coen brothers movie as opposed to a more traditional drama:

LORD: A Serious Man is right up there with Raising Arizona for me in terms of being really meaningful and really funny.  I think that’s probably a closer fit for what we aspire to than a straight drama like A Beautiful Mind or something.  I’d be surprised if we wound up doing something like that. 

While we don’t really know much about it, the two have also been prepping a project called The Reunion for a couple of years that will see Miller going solo in the director’s chair.  There’s no confirmed start-date just yet, but the duo said it could possibly come together quite soon:

MILLER: I wrote a script that I sold to Sony called The Reunion and I’m going back into that, very excited about that. 

LORD: We’re gonna produce that together and Chris is gonna direct it at some point, maybe some point soon.

Watch what Lord and Miller had to say about The Reunion, superhero movies, their favorite comics growing up, dramas, and more below:

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


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