The minds that helped create The LEGO Movie and recent Oscar-winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, are deepening their relationship with Sony. According to a report from Variety, the duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller have signed a 5-year partnership with Sony Pictures Television for an undisclosed nine-digit sum.
Lord and Miller will work on a variety of projects for Sony, from animated to live-action, spanning comedies to dramas. All venues are being looked at as potential homes for these shows, including broadcast TV, cable and streaming. The two had previously collaborated on a number of projects for Sony’s theatrical arm, including Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, the 21 Jump Street films and most recently, Into the Spider-Verse. Among other features, the pair are producing Sony Pictures Animation’s upcoming film The Mitchells Vs. the Machines.
Perhaps what’s most intriguing is that some of those new TV projects will be related to Marvel characters Sony owns through Spider-Man. Those will be created by Lord Miller Productions in conjunction with former Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal.
It had long been thought that Sony relinquished the rights to produce television iterations of the web-head in exchange for an extension on producing films. Series producer and lead writer Greg Weisman cited this as the reason The Spectacular Spider-Man got cancelled.
As it turns out, Sony may have only lost partial TV rights.
According to internal documents made public through the infamous 2011 Sony Pictures hack, the company still retained the ability to create live-action television shows, as well as animated ones, as long as they weren’t shorter than 44-minutes. It’s not known if that stipulation was modified in 2015 when Sony agreed to have Spider-Man join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Speaking with Variety last month, Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins stated, “We’re developing a lot of Marvel-related content, and I think we’ll be out in the market very soon with something really, really big and transformational for us, because we’ve not done any shows with Marvel before, with Marvel IP.”
It’s important to note that hour-long animated shows are extremely rare. Disney’s Spider-Man rights could limit Sony’s Marvel shows to the live-action realm. Though, Sony’s animated Spider-Man film was anything but typical and every platform is looking for things that break the mold …
While we wait for news on that front, it’s been confirmed that Sony Pictures is developing a sequel and a spin-off feature to Spider-Verse.
Prior to this new partnership with Sony Pictures Television, Lord and Miller were stationed with 20th Century Fox. The duo helped create the upcoming animated shows Bless the Harts for Fox and Hoops for Netflix. While the pair reportedly worked well with the company, Disney’s recent acquisition may have sent them looking elsewhere. Via its Lucasfilm subsidiary, Disney fired Lord and Miller midway through filming Solo: A Star Wars Story.