It’s been said many times over but it’s true: Phil Lord and Chris Miller are two of the most exciting filmmakers working today. They’ve made a career out of turning “bad ideas” into great movies, be it Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, or The LEGO Movie. After really breaking out with last year’s one-two punch of 22 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, the duo have been courted to work on just about every kind of “big studio movie” you could think of. They’re in demand for good reason, and while they’ve yet to settle on their next film as directors, the two recently became attached to a few high-profile properties in the development stages.
Lord and Miller are “developing the story” for Warner Bros.’ The Flash movie, starring Ezra Miller, and are “masterminding” an animated Spider-Man film for Sony by writing the treatment and producing. No doubt the hope from both studios is that they decide to direct both films, but as of right now they’re simply aiding in the development of the two superhero adaptations.
However, Lord recently appeared on a Florida-based podcast called Hippojuice (via /Film) and commented on The Flash movie and the animated Spider-Man film, specifically addressing how their take on the DC property will be related to The CW’s TV series of the same name:
“We’re trying to break a story. It’s interesting, because there’s a really popular TV show out there, and we’re trying to carve out space for the movie that’s apart from that. I think we’re doing alright. … I believe [our Flash] is going to be Barry Allen. … It’s going to be it’s own [thing, apart from the TV show] — we’re more trying to stick with the cinematic universe… it really is its own thing, and kind of a stand-alone movie. We’re just trying to think of the best story. I think you guys will like it, it’s kind of a different take on superhero stuff.”
Again, Warner Bros. clearly hopes that Lord and Miller decide to direct The Flash, and given that the studio’s approach to the DC universe hinges on filmmaker-driven projects, it could be a good fit for the duo. When speaking about the animated Spider-Man movie, Lord said he and Miller try to choose projects that inherently lead to studios letting them do their own thing:
“We’re sort of juggling superheroes with the color red in them, that’s all we do. [laughter] We’re trying not to confuse their powers or anything, but it does get tricky. But it’s the same thing, is there a way to do one of these movies in a new way? That’s the exciting thing about it being animated, is it opens up a lot of different possibilities.
Chris and I like to carve out spaces where people will let us do what we want. So much of our careers are like “oh, no one will bother us while we try to make a 21 Jump Street movie, because it’s such a crazy idea, no one’s going to know what to do with it.” So we’re doing these things kind of like that. They’re part of these huge franchises, but kind of are off a little bit to the side, and that gives us a lot of creative freedom, and that’s the thing we love. Hopefully we won’t waste that!”
In addition to The Flash and Spider-Man, Lord and Miller are also developing a Jump Street/Men in Black crossover movie for Sony, so again, these guys have a lot on their plate. Which will they direct, if any? Time will tell, but for now it’s promising to know that they’re involved in the nascent creative stages of what could be some very cool films.
Listen to the full podcast below.