Phil Lord and Chris Miller's Next Big Animated Movie Just Jumped Ship to Netflix

The Mitchell family, making their way from Sony to Netflix.
The Mitchell family, making their way from Sony to Netflix.
Screenshot: Sony Pictures Animation

The production duo behind Into the Spider-Verse and The Lego Movie’s new animated movie is all about tech gone wild—and in this uncertain world of pandemic movie distribution, it’s now getting a suitably wild release shakeup of its own.

This morning Netflix announced that The Mitchells vs. the Machines (previously known as Connected), directed by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe, will now be distributed worldwide—except in China—by the streamer following an acquisition from Sony Pictures Animation. The movie follows the titular Mitchell family—and the strained relationship between nature-loving dad Rick and his creative, tech-loving daughter Katie—as they deal with a tech revolution where modern gadgets go haywire while on a roadtrip, forcing the family to overcome its differences to try and survive a techno-apocalypse.

Sony was meant to release Connected last September, but, well...y’know, state of the world and all that, so it didn’t happen. Although not included in the studio’s initial rounds of delays into 2021, the movie was eventually pulled from release schedules—allowing Netflix to sweep in. As theatrical releases find themselves turning more and more to streaming distribution in a world where movie theaters re-opening in a regular capacity remains a twinkle in the mind’s eye, it’s not necessarily a surprising move to see, and no doubt won’t be the last movie Netflix has its eyes on for 2021.

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The Mitchells vs. The Machines is set to hit Netflix sometime later this year.


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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

It’s still wild to me that the guys who directed 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie, and produced The Lego Batman Movie and Into the Spider-Verse got kicked off of directing Solo. I’m open to the idea that they are monsters and terrible to work with, but I haven’t seen that reporting anywhere, so it seems like the obvious explanation is that Disney just doesn’t want to make movies that put a foot out of their super strict house style, which comports with what we’ve seen elsewhere. And man, does that make me bummed about the prospects for interesting projects coming out of there.