Riding high on the success of their last few collaborations, Phil Lord and Chris Miller—the duo responsible for The Lego Movie, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and its sequel, and 21 Jump Street and its sequel—talked with Collider about the possibility of reviving the short-lived MTV show they created with Scrubs’ Bill Lawrence, Clone High. Though it only had a 13-episode run between 2002 and 2003, Clone High’s legacy has grown in the decade since its cancellation, thanks in part to the way the show’s oddball sensibilities continues to surface in the pair’s later, more mainstream works. The pair discussed the possibility—and the inherent difficulties—of resurrecting Clone High as a feature-length film:
Miller: 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. It’s very complicated.
Lord: And then we get tired.
Miller: It’s very hard (laughs). 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!
For those who find navigating the legal red tape of network contracts to be a bit of a bore, Lord and Miller also went on to chat more optimistically about what kind of rating this hypothetical Clone High movie would warrant.
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?
R-rated animated films aren’t unprecedented, and along with South Park: Bigger, Longer, And Uncut proving such a model can be successful, Lord and Miller are looking to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Sausage Party to set the stage for the Clone High movie. With Sausage Party not hitting theaters until 2016, it’s probably safe to assume that those bumbling, teenage versions of Abe Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi will remain frozen until then.
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