One of our most anticipated films of the year just became a Netflix movie. It was announced today that the streaming service has acquired Connected from Sony Pictures Animation, and that the film has a new title (which was apparently its original title): The Mitchells vs. The Machines. The wholly original family-centric sci-fi comedy hails from the mind of co-writer and director Mike Rianda, with Jeff Rowe onboard as co-director and co-writer. Produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the story follows one family’s struggle during a technological uprising. Abbi Jacobson voices Katie Mitchell, a creative outsider who is accepted into the film school of her dreams – where she hopes to finally connected with like-minded people – only for her nature-loving father (Danny McBride) to suggest driving her to school with the whole family for one final bonding experience. And then the technological uprising occurs.
The film was very much borne out of the creative breakthroughs made on Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and in a statement Lord and Miller had nothing but praise for the studio while acknowledging this acquisition was a way to get the film in front of audiences during the pandemic:
“We are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm Netflix has expressed for this movie with this acquisition and grateful to everyone at Sony for making a great picture with us and finding a big way to bring it to audiences” said Lord and Miller. “We’re really proud of the film we all made together, plus we understand our subscription fees are waived in perpetuity as part of the deal? We’re not lawyers but it does sound right to us.”
“This is a very personal movie about my very weird family. I’m so grateful to all the incredible artists that poured their love and passion into this project to make it a reality, and to everyone at Sony who believed in us and were on board to make a different kind of animated movie.” said Mike Rianda. “I’m so thrilled that everyone at Netflix has been totally in sync with us creatively and are just as excited about the movie as we are! Not only because it’s an original story with a creative visual style that we’re extremely proud of, but also so I can prove to my friends that this five-year journey wasn’t an elaborate delusion on my part.”
The Mitchells vs. The Machines will be released on Netflix sometime later this year, but a firm release date has not yet been set. While I’m bummed I won’t be able to see this on a big screen, my enthusiasm for this sure-to-be-unique feature remains and I’m eager to see what kind of story this team has put together.