Chris Miller

Christopher Miller was an American writer, director and producer whose works tapped into the mindset of the Millennials. Often partnered with friend and colleague Phil Lord, the pair were best known as the creative force behind films such as the "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" movies, "21 Jump Street" (2012), and "The Lego Movie" (2013). The commercial success of these films was enormous, and they were generally liked by critics as well, yet the pair managed to stay out of the Hollywood limelight even as they became successful. Miller was born on September 23, 1975 in Everett, Washington. He attended Dartmouth College, where he met Phil Lord and graduated in 1997. After graduation, Miller and Lord broke into the entertainment industry by nabbing roles in the Lea Thompson sitcom "Caroline in the City" (NBC 1995-99), where Miller played a recurring role as Cliff over a span of three episodes. Meanwhile, Miller and Lord jumped aboard the writing staff of "Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane" (The WB, 1999-2000), a short-lived "Friends" (NBC 1994-2004) copycat that starred Selma Blair and Michael Rosenbaum. The pair's humble beginnings continued when they tried to work on "The Rugrats Movie" (1998) as animators but failed the initial drawing test. Undaunted, Miller and Lord continued to work on their ideas for an animated series. After pitching their ideas to several networks, Miller and Lord convinced MTV to pick up "Clone High" (2002-03), an adult animated television series about a high school populated by clones of famous historical figures. Miller and Lord worked on multiple fronts as writers, producers, directors and voice actors on the animated series. Although "Clone High" only lasted one season, they gained valuable connections an experience in such a truncated amount of time. They immediately jumped aboard on a couple of new shows, "Luis" (Fox 2003) and "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS 2005-2014). Although Fox quickly cancelled production soon after "Luis" premiered, "How I Met Your Mother" was a veritable smash hit. Miller and Lord served as co-executive producers on the show's first season, with Miller credited as a writer for the episodes "Belly Full of Turkey" and "The Sweet Taste of Liberty." Miller and Lord's newfound success led to more opportunities. Trying their hand at animation once again, the two partners wrote and produced "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (2009), a computer animated science fiction comedy based on a children's book about a scientist's weather machine gone horribly awry. Starring the voices of Bill Hader and Anna Faris, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" was a critical and commercial success, nominated for a couple of Annie Awards and a Best Animated Feature nod at the 67th Golden Globe Awards. Their next directorial effort was "21 Jump Street," a comedic feature film reboot an old 1980s television police drama starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Although there were many doubters, "21 Jump Street" was a surprise success. Over the next couple of years, Miller and Lord continued to put out quality movies and shows that resonated with audiences. In 2013, the duo was tapped again to direct "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" and later that year, they served as executive producers of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox 2013-), a sitcom starring former "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ) alum Andy Samberg. While movies released in the first quarter of the year tend not to draw big crowds, Miller and Lord bucked the trend with "The Lego Movie" (2014). An animated feature that centered around the classic children's building blocks, "The Lego Movie" wowed audiences both young and old, with a voice cast that featured Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Elizabeth Banks. The movie was praised for its unique animation and creative storyline and became the biggest movie released in February of 2014. (The pair served as producers for the film's sequels, including "The Lego Batman Movie" (2017) and "The Lego Ninjago Movie" (2017), but didn't write or direct them.) After directing the sequel "22 Jump Street" (2014), Lord and Miller returned to TV as executive producers of "The Last Man on Earth" (Fox 2015- ), a quirky sitcom starring Will Forte and Kristen Schaal as the heads of a band of survivors of an unnamed apocalypse. The part-animated dysfunctional-family sitcom "Son of Zorn" (Fox 2016-17) and time travel comedy "Making History" (Fox 2017) followed, but both were canceled after a single season. In 2016, Lord and Miller were named as directors of a 2018 standalone film in the Star Wars Universe starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo. Principal photography began in March 2017, but in June of that year, the pair were removed from the film following reported creative differences with producers and replaced by Ron Howard.