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Creator / Phil Lord & Chris Miller

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That's Miller on the left and Lord on the right.

Philip Anderson Lord (born July 12, 1975) and Christopher Robert Miller (born September 23, 1975) are Hollywood's duo of the 21st century. Lord and Miller met at Dartmouth and became inseparable, going on to create the Cult Classic MTV animated series Clone High in 2002. Despite lasting only one season, many of their later works harken back to its sharp humor and creative visual style. They're returning to work on the revived series for HBO Max.

Lord and Miller moved to feature films with the 2009 animated movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and later to their first R-rated, live-action feature 21 Jump Street in 2012. They stayed on to direct 22 Jump Street in 2014, as well as The LEGO Movie earlier that same year. They've also produced other projects in film and on television, as well as served as guest writers and directors on TV shows like How I Met Your Mother and The Last Man on Earth.

Afterwards, the two were attached to direct the Star Wars anthology movie Solo before leaving the project a mere few weeks before filming wrapped due to Creative Differences. It didn't stop them from bouncing back though, as they wrote and produced both Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Versenote  and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, released in 2018 and 2019 respectively to universal acclaim. In addition to that, they'll hop back on the director's saddle with two sci-fi films currently in development: Artemis (an adaptation of The Martian author Andy Weir's novel of the same name) and The Last Human (another adaptation of an upcoming book by Lee Bacon). They also signed first-look deals with Sony Pictures Television for overseeing Spider-Man-related TV seriesnote  and with Universal Pictures.

Works Lord and Miller have credits on:


  • Project Hail Mary (TBA; directors, producers)
  • Artemis (TBA; directors)
  • The Last Human (TBA; directors, producers)
  • The Premonition: A Pandemic Story (TBA; directors, producers)


  • Clone High (2002-2003, 2023-present; creators, writers, directors, executive producers, voice directors)
  • How I Met Your Mother (2005-2006; writers, producers)note 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013; directors, writers)note 
  • The Last Man on Earth (2015-2018; directors, executive producers)note 
  • Son of Zorn (2016-2017; executive producers)
  • Unikitty! (2017-2020); executive producers)
  • Bless the Harts (2019; executive producers)
  • The Afterparty (2022: creator, director note , writers, executive producers)


  • Affectionate Parody: Some of their projects also work as Deconstructive Parodies like The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street, but they tend to lean more towards this trope.
    • Clone High parodies the generation it takes place in. Season 1 in particular makes fun of Teen Drama shows that were popular in its day. It uses the concept of a high school that educates clones of historical figures to show how different these people would be in a completely different environment.
    • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs parodies disaster films.
    • Their 21 Jump Street movie not only parodies every trope of the original series, it also makes fun of reboots and high-school movies in general.
    • 22 Jump Street parodies college movies and action sequels.
    • The LEGO Movie parodies summer blockbuster movies, merchandise films, and chosen one stories.
    • America: The Motion Picture is a comedic sendup of everything that is considered American. This includes the country's historical icons, folklore, politics, franchise blockbusters, and stories about the American Revolution.
    • The Afterparty is a comedic take on murder mystery stories and various other genres like rom-coms, action movies, horror thrillers, and arthouse films.
    • Strays (2023) is a hard R-rated parody of "talking animal adventure" children's movies like Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.
  • Author Appeal:
    • You might notice that their films star protagonists with little confidence who have to sell their worth to their peers.
    • Heavy improvisation.
    • Children's relationships with their fathers. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie, Into the Spider-Verse, and The Mitchells Vs. The Machines all have conflict between a child taking a different, usually more creative path than the one their father wants, and the two ultimately coming to understand each other at the end. Mitchells is the only case that is father/daughter instead of father/son.
    • Bright colors and glitchy effects show up a lot in their animated films, especially Into the Spider-Verse (which uses glitchy imagery as a plot point) and The Mitchells Vs. The Machines.
    • They also really enjoy blending elements of 2D and 3D animation together, mostly with digital or scanned 2D artwork overlayed onto CGI renders. Into the Spider-Verse is their most famous and ambitious example, but America: The Motion Picture also uses the same style (albeit simplified and with far fewer traditionally-drawn frames), and The Mitchells vs. the Machines heavily employs animated watercolor art for its effects and on several characters.
  • Benevolent Boss: They are both very nice, funny, friendly, and encouraging people. They love collaborating with everyone who work on their projects and want to give them all opportunities to contribute something creative to the final product.
  • Denser and Wackier: Part of their Signature Style is they make films that are very manic, insane, and fast-paced. When they adapt something, you can bet it will take this route.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: They are almost never seen apart.
  • In Name Only: Lord and Miller like to take existing properties and turn it into something completely new.
    • 21 Jump Street is a very loose adaptation of the series it is based on. Instead of making it a police procedural teen drama like the series, Lord & Miller took the same tropes and basic concept and preferred to make a film that was a lot more light-hearted and wacky compared to the show.
    • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs retains the title, premise, and a few illustrations from the original book. Otherwise, the entire plot and all of its characters are completely original.
    • Outside the concept of having multiple Spider-Heroes from across the multiverse meet, Spider Man Into The Spider-Verse has nothing to do with the plot of the 2014 Spider-Verse storyline from the comics, where hundreds of Spiders must come together to defeat Morlun and his family. In fact, it has far more in common with the plot of Spider-Men, as both have Peter Parker enter Miles' dimension and serve as a mentor for the novice superhero.
    • Cocaine Bear has very little in common with what happened in real life. The movie takes the insane concept of a bear who digests cocaine and turns it into a fun dark comedy-thriller about a massive sized bear who goes on a murderous rampage. In real life, the bear was much smaller and didn't harm anybody, dying shortly after the cocaine set in.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Their projects love to be nudge-nudge-wink-wink about what kind of story they're in. The Lego Movie enjoys always reminding the audience that what they're watching is essentially a bunch of toys doing silly things, and 21 Jump Street is always winking at the audience about how it's a shameless reboot of a mildly popular show from The '80s.
  • Medium Blending: Their animated works often incorporate different animation styles, either for a gag or for stylization purposes. Clone High has at least one bit with a live-action twist, The LEGO Movie (a 3D film) uses live-action footage as part of The Reveal, its sequel has a gag with a 2D "intermission" reel, and The Mitchells vs. the Machines (another 3D film) uses 2D animation for Katie's drawings. Into the Spider-Verse has a similar effect by animating Peni Parker and Spider-Ham in the style of anime and old 2D western cartoons respectively, though the film is consistently animated in 3D barring a Medium-Shift Gag with a live-action popsicle and a stinger animated like the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon.
    • The Afterparty was based entirely on this trope. The series is a about a retelling of a murder done in a different format with a separate style (accompanied by Aspect Ratio Switch) in line with their respective witnesses. Despite the show being in live-action, one of the episodes has a retelling presented in 2D animation.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: A lot of their style is contingent on editing and improvisation, resulting in jokes that come at you like a high speed meteor shower.
  • Reconstruction: As shown in In Name Only, Lord & Miller like to re-craft already existing properties. The two are well aware of modern audiences cynical expectations for cash grab reboots. In order to make a positive experience out of it, they take the extra step in playing along with those expectations and instead create something that reconstructs a lot of that old I.P's essential tropes. This is best shown in 21 Jump Street, Spider Man Into The Spiderverse, and The LEGO Movie.
  • Rewatch Bonus: They might as well be the Edgar Wright of the animation medium with how their animated films have layers upon layers of Freeze Frame Bonuses and Funny Background Events that warrant multiple viewings to catch.
  • Signature Style:
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism:
    • All of their films lean closer to the idealistic side. They are filled with a sense of fun, likability, good-natured humor, and genuine heart.
    • Clone High started off as a irreverent parody of the cheap gimmicks and corniness of teen dramas with a bit of a cynical edge. It has shifted more towards the idealistic side since the revival.
  • Sliding Scale Of Silliness Vs Seriousness: They make highly entertaining projects that are insane, wacky, comedic, wild, frantic, and silly while still having a lot of heart and intelligence.
  • Stylistic Suck: When it's funny, the quality of the film's animation will drop considerably. In terms of their live action work, invoked Special Effect Failures like very obvious green screens are abound. In fact, in some montages in their films, they include pictures that anyone with Google could literally pull from search results.