'Spider-Verse' filmmakers Phil Lord, Chris Miller sign deal to develop Marvel TV universe

Phil Lord and Chris Miller have landed a massive new five-year overall deal at Sony Pictures Television, Variety has learned.

The creative team and their Lord Miller production banner will exit their current studio home 20th Century Fox Television for the new deal with Sony, which sources say is worth nine figures. The Sony deal comes after multiple studios pursued Lord and Miller as their 20th TV deal was set to expire.

Under the deal, Lord and Miller will develop live-action and animated series in both comedy and drama. The deal allows the pair to develop their own projects for network, cable and streaming platforms, as well as develop and supervise other writers’ projects. The duo will be involved in developing a suite of television series based on Sony’s Marvel Characters.

“We are so grateful to everyone at Sony Pictures Television for choosing to partner with us and expand our enduring relationship with the studio,” Lord and Miller said. “Together we aim to make groundbreaking work of the highest quality and integrity, and to place that work in convenient proximity to your eyeballs and earholes, wherever you may be.”

All projects will be produced through the pair’s Lord Miller Productions. Aubrey Lee will continue in her role at Lord Miller as vice president of TV development and production. Select television projects related to Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters will be produced in partnership with Amy Pascal.

“This is a significant milestone for our television business, having the opportunity to work with two of the most creative forces in the industry in both our film and television businesses,” said Mike Hopkins, chairman of Sony Pictures Television. “Building on our strong IP and creating new franchises has been a key focus for SPE, and the best way to do that is to invest in remarkable storytellers like Phil and Chris. We are thrilled to welcome them to the SPT family, and I want to thank Jeff [Frost], Chris [Parnell] and Jason [Clodfelter] for all their hard work in pulling this deal together.”

The deal expands Sony’s existing relationship with Lord and Miller, who have a longstanding ties with the studio on the film side. Lord and Miller’s previous Sony feature projects include “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” both “21 Jump Street” and “22 Jump Street,” and the Oscar-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Lord and Miller also have multiple feature projects in the works with the studio, including “The Last Human,” which Lord and Miller are developing to direct.

Their most recent television project, the animated series “Bless The Harts” created by Emily Spivey, was ordered straight-to-series and premieres on Fox this fall.

“Phil and Chris have reimagined every medium and genre they have touched,” said Sony Pictures Television President Jeff Frost. “Whether it’s television, features or animation, they have created their own unique brand and style. We are so excited to be working with these brilliant creators and showrunners and are looking forward to collaborating with them in every aspect of television – comedy, drama, animation and beyond.”

Lord and Miller’s deal was brokered by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham and was completed prior the expiration of WGA/ATA’s franchise agreement on April 12th.

Lord and Miller are now the latest high-profile creators to set astronomical new overall deals as the arms race among the studios continues. Just last week, Sony TV signed “Homeland” creators Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa to a multi-year deal as well. Ryan Murphy, Kenya Barris, Shonda Rhimes, and Brad Falchuk all recently signed deals with Netflix, while Nahnatchka Khan also recently left 20th TV for a new deal at Universal Television. Longtime Universal mainstay Mindy Kaling recently left that studio for a new deal at Warner Bros. Television.

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