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Phil Lord and Chris Miller have had their fair share of strange projects. Finding success in both animation and live-action films is no small feat, but the directing duo is nothing if not unique in their choices. And after their success writing and directing The Lego Movie the pair has been given the opportunity to take on pretty much anything they desire. So what’s next? Well sounds like the two are gearing up for an animated/live-action hybrid comedy for Fox.
The producer-director-writer pair have officially found their next project and it sounds like a match made in heaven. Lord and Miller are creating a hybrid animated/live-action comedy entitled Son of Zahn for Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the team is working on the 8 to 10 minute pilot presentation which centers on an animated Barbarian father coming home for the first time in 10 years. Here’s where the weird (but also kind of cool) comes in. The animated father comes home to find his son and ex-wife in live-action. Whether or not this animated/live-action hybrid is just a form of the man’s imagination, we’ll have to wait and see. But the father finds reconnecting with his family and dealing with the overall banality of his suburban life to be much more difficult than waging actual war in his distant animated world.
So far, Johnny Pemberton is the first attached to the pilot, and has been cast in a live-action role. Pemberton has previously worked with Lord and Miller in the 21 Jump Street films and will portray the animated Barbarian’s live-action teenage son, Alan.
Lord and Miller are getting film and tv offers left and right. Signed on to write the script for the upcoming DC film, The Flash by Warner Bros., the pair has also been picked up by Sony Pictures to create an animated Spider-Man film and direct a third installation to their successful 21 Jump Street run. All this while keeping up with their directorial duties on Will Forte’s apocalyptic comedy The Last Man on Earth on Fox. And though all of these projects are exciting for the duo, nothing sounds quite as fitting as this new Son of Zahn which will allow the team to harness both their live-action and animated skill sets all at once.
Combining live-action and animation is not a new concept, but also not one that has been done exceptionally well for an adult comedy. We see it often in children’s TV shows, but it’ll be great to see it done for an older audience, especially by a duo who appreciates good animation and smart writing. This is still in the very beginning stages, so we’ll see if that pilot is given the green light, but from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, I certainly can’t imagine any one saying “no”.