‘The experience clarified what was important to us’: Phil Lord and Chris Miller explain how being fired from ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ has influenced their upcoming works
Phil Lord and Chris Miller will forever be my aesthetic role models. Singularly focused on story, with an eye for improvisation — these two filmmakers have quietly crafted a cinematic empire unlike anything in Hollywood. Let’s take stock, shall we?
Over the past two decades, Lord and Miller have helped bring to life movies and television ventures like: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, The Last Man on Earth, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Cocaine Bear, and of course — Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Now, as Lord and Miller approach their next entry into the Spider-Verse franchise with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, this dynamic duo have finally had a chance to take stock. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, these two buddies sat down to discuss their increasingly iconic careers.
Yet their meteoric rise hasn’t always been sunshine and daisies, and one of the largest black spots on their resume comes by way of Solo: A Star Wars Story. In 2017 the pair were set to co-direct one of the most divisive titles brought to life by Disney Star Wars, but were quickly taken off the movie due to “creative differences.”
Although to be fair, and I know I’m in the minority on this one, I actually liked Solo — but let’s save that for a different article. Tight-lipped about their ousting, Lord and Miller finally shed a bit of light on that experience and how it has impacted their creative work ever since. In a good way, that is.
“The (Solo) experience clarified what was important to us. In the case of Hail Mary (their latest live action project), it’s kind of radically benevolent. And it’s going to be hard.”
What’s important to guys like Phil Lord and Chris Miller happens to be their improvisational style, where actors and creatives are encouraged to try all sorts of things in order to get the best outcome. Sadly, this type of filmmaking certainly suites itself to animation for a whole slew of reasons — which perhaps is why they make more movies in that medium than any other.
When asked about the Spider-Verse franchise, and the increasing web of characters and plot lines it houses, Lord and Miller would like to think that audiences can roll with the punches.
“When we were doing Spider-Verse the first time, there was a lot of nervousness at the studio that people wouldn’t understand the concept and that it would be too confusing. And our attitude was, ‘Audiences are smarter than you think,’ ”
If no one else will say it, I will: Audiences have always been smarter than anyone thinks, and to dumb narratives down in order to make sure everyone can keep up actually does a disservice to the people paying to see these movies in the first place. Well, that’s my time. Be good, stay crazy, tell your friends.