August 3, 1985 |
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
The son of director John Landis and costume designer and historian Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Max Landis was born into a Jewish family in Beverly Hills, California. He left Beverly Hills High School for a therapeutic boarding school in New England, still graduating with a Beverly Hills High School diploma. Since he started writing at 16, Landis has written 75 screenplays.
Landis sold his first script at the age of 18, a collaboration with his father, director John Landis, on the Masters of Horror episode "Deer Woman". He would later be asked to return to the series in its second incarnation, Fear Itself, independently penning the episode "Something with Bite". He also wrote for Bluewater Productions' Return to Mysterious Island, a 2008 comic series.
While attending the University of Miami, Landis wrote numerous shorts which were produced by students in the school's film program. Upon leaving the university, Landis went on a "spec-selling streak", having three of his pitches optioned within six months. First, Landis sold Chronicle to producer John Davis and 20th Century Fox's Davis Entertainment. The Chronicle script was previously included on the Black List, an annual compendium of the year's best unproduced screenplays. A documentary-style movie about three Seattle teenagers that develop superpowers after encountering a strange substance in the woods, Chronicle was directed by Josh Trank, and takes a different approach to handling superpowered characters.
Landis' script for Good Time Gang was then optioned by RCR Pictures, a production company helmed by Robin Schorr and professional poker player Chris Ferguson. The film will star Jonah Hill and Mark Wahlberg as a "bumbling pair of antiheroes". The cast also includes Chris Evans.
In April 2011, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment purchased Landis' pitch for Amnesty. Brian Grazer will produce the film and Ron Howard is attached to direct. That project has been characterized as a spy thriller set in a fantasy world.
20th Century Fox's Davis Entertainment hired Landis in May 2011 to script a reimagining of the German fairy tale of the Pied Piper. The project has been characterized as a "fantasy thriller" and is being overseen by Steve Asbell. Davis and Fox again opted to team with Landis for a film based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The adaptation is rumored to be a retelling of the story from Igor's point of view. The character breakdowns from Landis' script also suggest that the tale has been transported to a circus setting. In September 2012, it was announced that Sherlock and Push director Paul McGuigan will be the movie's director.
In January 2012, Variety reported that Disney picked up a pitch Landis made for a space adventure focusing on a brother and sister. The film is set to be produced by Wedding Crashers producer Andrew Panay. According to Landis' Twitter account, he is also working on a project entitled Villains. 
It was revealed in April 2012 that Landis would produce his first movie, an "edgy family adventure" named Woogles, along with Bazelevs producers Michele Wolkoff and Timur Bekmambetov. The project will be written by Nick Antosca and Ned Vizzini and is based on a script Landis wrote in college.
During an interview at the Middle East Film and Comic Con, Landis also revealed he was planning to direct a screenplay he wrote entitled Me, Him, Her.
In September 2012, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Landis created a TV series for Fox and would executive produce it with Homeland producer Howard Gordon. The series, entitled Vigilant, centers on a young woman who creates a fictional vigilante persona to stop crime and combat a brutally coercive police department and its corrupt internal affairs department. Landis will also write the pilot script. Though the initial report described the show as a "superhero police drama," Landis said on his Twitter that it is not a superhero show and "has more in common with The Wire than Smallville."
Landis has made cameo appearances in a number of John Landis' films, including The Stupids, Blues Brothers 2000 and Burke and Hare. In December 2011, Landis was listed among Forbes magazine's "30 Under 30" young people to watch in the entertainment industry.
Chronicle was released on February 3, 2012. It received wide acclaim and currently holds a "Fresh" rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film "transcends its gimmicks with a smart script, fast-paced direction, and engaging performances from its young, talented cast". Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert praised the movie, saying, "sometimes a movie arrives out of the blue that announces the arrival of considerable new talents", and singling out Landis' dialogue as adding a natural authenticity to the proceedings. The film opened in 2,907 theaters and exceeded expectations by grossing $22,000,000 to win the weekend box office. As of March 12 it has grossed over $62,000,000. It was announced in early March that Landis would pen a sequel for Fox.
On the same day Chronicle was released, Landis released a short comedic film to YouTube entitled The Death and Return of Superman. The video, drawing inspiration from the Drunk History series of short films (including Landis' own Drunk Comic Book History videos about Robin and Batman: Knightfall) retells the story of Superman's death and return through Landis' voice and perspective, with scenes acted out by his friends and actors including Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, Simon Pegg, Jennette McCurdy, Ron Howard, Elizabeth Gillies and more.
On October 10, 2012 it was revealed that Fox was unhappy with Landis' draft for Chronicle 2. On July 18, 2013, Landis confirmed he was no longer attached to Chronicle 2, saying he was "off Chronicle 2 for months now".
|2005||Masters of Horror||Writer. Episode: "Deer Woman"|
|2009||Fear Itself||Writer. Episode: "Something with Bite"|
- JWeekly: "celebrity jews" by nate bloom February 2, 2012
- JSpace: "Forbes Features Members of the Tribe In 30 Under 30" December 29, 2011
- Script Magazine: Mad Max[dead link]
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- Twitter / Uptomyknees
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