EXCLUSIVE: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have hired well regarded production executive Aditya Sood to become head of film for their Lord Miller banner. The move to secure the former Genre Films president comes at a key moment for filmmakers coming off the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Later this month, they will meet with all the major studios before deciding where to make their first overall movie deal. This comes after the duo set their TV operations at Sony Pictures Television in an epic-sized five-year deal last April.
Sood’s challenge will be to lead their motion picture group ambitions, with an emphasis on developing original and existing IP projects and championing fresh voices. Sood will lead a motion picture group staff that includes longtime film executives Will Allegra and Rebecca Karch who have been upped to Senior Vice President and Vice President, respectively.
The Sood hiring seemed destined to happen at some point. Miller first met Sood when they were 6 years old, when they began making films together. The three have been close friends for nearly 25 years since Miller introduced Sood and Lord during a college trip to Italy.
“Aditya was the one person we knew in the movie business before we moved to Los Angeles,” Lord & Miller told Deadline. “He’s the person who made it seem possible and we have believed in him and rooted for him our entire lives. His commitment to the art of filmmaking and impeccable taste are only secondary to the character he conducts himself with. And its Lord Miller’s good fortune to work closely with someone we respect and admire so much.”
Said Sood: “I couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Chris and Phil. Whether it’s re-imagining franchises or finding gold in material that no one else can spot, I can’t think of more creative, funnier or better humans to work with than these two guys.”
Sood did a lot of that during his successful run as president of Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films. Sood produced the Best Picture nominated Ridley Scott-directed adaptation of the Andy Weir novel The Martian, which the exec found and brought in to the company. He was executive producer on the blockbuster Deadpool films and also Murder on the Orient Express. He is also producing with Kinberg Artemis, an adaptation of the Weir novel that has Lord & Miller attached to direct. Projects that Sood produced at Genre grossed over $2.7 billion in global box office. He was also active on Genre’s TV side, exec producing the series Designated Survivor, which is currently in its third season for Netflix.
Prior to his Genre run, Sood ran Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald’s production company at DreamWorks and was VP Production at Warner Bros Pictures. He started his career at New Line Cinema and DreamWorks, and later worked as a Story Editor for producer Mark Johnson.
The prospect of landing Lord Miller into an overall deal for features understandably has multiple studios hot and bothered. Their film projects have grossed in excess of $3.3 billion with hits that include Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and its sequel, 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street, The Lego Movie franchise, including the sequel Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and spinoffs The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie, followed by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
In addition to Artemis at Fox/Disney, the duo will direct the live-action tentpole The Last Human, which Sony acquired in a highly competitive auction. Aside from their unpleasant foray on Solo: A Star Wars Story, is there a team of producer-directors who’ve hit on movie franchise launches more consistently than these guys? They’re repped by UTA.