Lord & Miller Talk 'Clone High' Movie & Passing on 'Ghostbusters 3'
This weekend Phil Lord & Chris Miller see their first sequel as directors, 22 Jump Street, hitting the big screen, and there's a good chance it's going to take the top spot at the box office. Of course, they're still going to be pretty busy producing The LEGO Movie sequel, already slated for 2017, but besides that, it sounds like the duo is mostly going to take a break. In fact, that seems to be the driving force behind their decision to pass on directing Ghostbusters 3, the pseudo reboot/sequel that is developing at Sony Pictures, home of the 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs franchises that they launched.
ScreenCrush recently spoke to Lord & Miller, and they explained their decision to pass on Ghostbusters 3:
Right now, we’re just super tired and we want to take a break. We’re doing a TV show with Will Forte. So, we don’t really know what we’re gonna do next, we just know we can’t jump into another movie like that right away.
However, they're not naysayers when it comes to the possibility of it working:
I think that there’s a good ‘Ghostbusters’ movie out there. It’s such a fun franchise. Obviously, we don’t have the same attitude as people who hate stuff before it’s even made. It’s a fun idea and it’s a fun world and I think it will work.
We'll see what happens. Ruben Fleischer was the last name to be linked as a possible director, but it's not clear who will end up actually taking the job and having this enormous pressure on their shoulders. Honestly, now that Edgar Wright is free from Ant-Man, I'd be interested to see what he could do with the property, but after having so much studio trouble at Marvel, he might not be keen to jump on something that he's not more in control of. But there's no doubt that fans would be much more interested in Ghostbusters 3 if Edgar Wright was on board.
But let's get back to Lord & Miller, who may reach back into their past for a future film project. Before the duo became the reliable, fantastic filmmakers they are today, they were responsible for the quirky but awesome animated series "Clone High" along with Bill Lawrence. The series wasn't a runaway hit, but over the years, it's gotten quite a following; the kind of following that could get the right people interested in some sort of revival. And while bringing it back to TV seems like the most likely decision, Lord & Miller just might bring the series to the big screen. However, it's not as simple as writing it and getting approval. Speaking to Collider, Miller explained why it's not a sure thing:
We talk very regularly now with Bill every few months or so, we talk about ‘How are we going to get this back in whatever form we can?’’ We get our lawyers to talk to each other, and business affairs people to talk to each other. Because it’s at Viacom/MTV, we have a TV deal at Fox, he has a TV deal at Warner Bros. It’s all very complicated, and then it’s ‘should we do a movie, or a TV show, or whatever?’ But, we’re working on it! It’s hard!”
But even if the movie gets off the ground, how do you turn a niche TV show like that into a successful movie without certain sacrifices, whether that's making it more accessible to a broader, family audience, or something else. Lord and Miller go back and forth on that challenge:
Lord: It’s also a tricky thing because we basically made a PG-13 TV series, and if you’re gonna do a movie you wonder, ‘Am I gonna have to justify the budget that it’s gonna take by trying to broaden this to a family audience, and is that gonna kill what was fun about the original thing?’ Because there’s so much blood in the original series (laughs).
Miller: And innuendo or whatever.
Lord: And JFK sex jokes. Are you going to wind up defanging it?
Miller: Are you gonna make it R? PG-13?
Lord: It’s trying to cross-reference what it’s gonna cost and what it’s gonna make.
Either way, Lord & Miller have plenty on their plate to keep them busy. As they said, they have a TV show with Will Forte. That series is called "The Last Man on Earth" and it arrives on Fox this fall (watch the trailer here). Otherwise, we're not sure what the duo will take on as their next feature film directing gig. It's not The LEGO Movie 2 (that's being directed by Chris McKay, co-director of the first film), and it likely won't be 23 Jump Street since the second one took some time for them to warm up to as writers and directors. But no matter what their next film project is, you can bet we'll be paying attention. Thoughts?