Landis in 2012
August 3, 1985 |
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Screenwriter, film director|
Deborah Nadoolman Landis
Max Landis (born August 3, 1985) is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and actor. He is best known for writing the films Chronicle (2012), American Ultra (2015), and Victor Frankenstein (2015), a film adaptation of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein, as well as a variety of short films including The Death and Return of Superman. He is the son of director John Landis.
Landis was born in Beverly Hills, California, the son of director John Landis and costume designer and historian Deborah Nadoolman Landis. His family is Jewish. He left Beverly Hills High School for a therapeutic boarding school in New England, but still graduated with a Beverly Hills High School diploma.
Since he started writing at 16, Landis has written 75 screenplays. He sold his first script at the age of 18, a collaboration with his father, John, 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' Back to Mysterious Island, a 2008 comic series. Landis has made cameo appearances in a number of John Landis' films, including The Stupids, Blues Brothers 2000 and Burke and Hare. In 2011 and 2012, Landis was listed among Forbes magazine's "30 Under 30" young people to watch in the entertainment industry.
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.
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. It has grossed over $126,000,000. It was announced in early March that Landis would pen a sequel for Fox. 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 had been "off Chronicle 2 for months now".
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 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."
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.
In 2012 Landis began work on his directorial debut Me Him Her. The film began production in late 2012, and wrapped at the end of summer 2013. Post production began in September 2013, and ended in early 2014. The film was eventually released in March 2016.
In March 2015, Landis, a wrestling fan, released a short film, Wrestling Isn't Wrestling, for free on YouTube. The comedic film explained the nature of professional wrestling using the career of wrestler Triple H. Several actors and wrestlers had cameos. In response, Triple H described the film as "awesome" and that Landis "gets it". PWInsider described it as "very engaging" with "unique and creative production", "especially worth passing on to anyone who ever questions why you enjoy pro wrestling"; while prowrestling.net said it was "must-see", "innovative" and funny.
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.
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.
|1996||The Stupids||Role: Graffiti Artist|
|1998||Blues Brothers 2000||Role: Ghostrider|
|2010||Burke & Hare||Role: Handsome Coachman|
|2016||Me Him Her||Writer, director, role: Senator Dirtbike|
|2005||Masters of Horror||Writer||Episode: "Deer Woman"|
|2009||Fear Itself||Writer||Episode: "Something with Bite"|
|2014||Homemade Movies||David Kessler||Episode: "American Werewolf in London Transformation"|
|2016||Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency|
|2009||Ghost Closet '07||Writer, role: Ghost Girl / Ghost Cowboy 1 / The Gentleman Ghost|
|2012||The Death and Return of Superman||Director, writer|
|2014||The Slap||Director, producer|
|2015||Wrestling Isn't Wrestling||Director, writer, producer, himself|
|2015||"One Last Time"||Director|
- JWeekly: "celebrity jews" by nate bloom February 2, 2012
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- IMDB:Max Landis
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- "'Homeland's' Howard Gordon, 'Chronicle' Scribe Sell 'Superhero' Police Drama to Fox (Exclusive)". Hollywoodreporter.com. 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Twitter / Uptomyknees
- "Drunk Comic Book History Chronicles". Aboutheroes.com. 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- "VOTD: Max Landis’ ‘The Death and Return of Superman’". Slashfilm.com. 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Armitage, Hugh (2012-11-06). "'Chronicle's Max Landis to direct sexual identity film 'Me Him Her' - Movies News". Digitalspy.com. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
- "Max Landis Sets His Directorial Debut in Indie Comedy 'Me Him Her'". FirstShowing.net. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
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- "Max Landis’ directing debut: ‘Me Him Her’". Variety.com. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
- Johnson, Mike. "Wrestling Isn't Wrestling - Screenwriter Max Landis produces ode to professional wrestling". pwinsider.com. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- Martin, Adam. "Triple H comments on Max Landis wrestling parody". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- "Former WWE personalities, independent wrestling stars, and celebrities appear in a short film profiling and parodying the career of Triple H". prowrestling.net. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- "Jonah Hill and Mark Wahlberg look to become a 21st century Murtaugh and Riggs". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Max Landis Spills Lots Of Chronicle 2 Details, More On His Many Upcoming Films
- Fleming, Mike. "Max Landis, Ron Howard Team Up On 'Amnesty' Pitch". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Abrams, Rachel (2011-05-12). "Landis pens 'Pied Piper' for Fox". Variety.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Graser, Marc (2012-01-26). "Disney goes into orbit with Landis pitch". Variety.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Max Landis Twitter
- Abrams, Rachel (2012-04-02). "Landis makes producing debut with 'Woogles'". Variety.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- MY #SCP! If you like it, please upvote! http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2137, by Max Landis, on Twitter; posted 9 September 2014; retrieved 17 July 2015