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Maximillian Michael Brooks (born May 22, 1972) is an American actor and author. He is the son of comedy filmmaker Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft. Much of Brooks's writing focuses on zombie stories.[1] He is a lecturer at the Modern War Institute at West Point, New York.[2]

Max Brooks
Max Brooks at BookExpo (15957).jpg
Max Brooks at BookExpo in 2019
Maximillian Michael Brooks

(1972-05-22) May 22, 1972 (age 47)
Alma materPitzer College (B.A.)
American University (1994)
OccupationAuthor, actor
Michelle Kholos (m. 2003)
Writing career
GenreHumor, horror

Early life and educationEdit

Brooks was born in Manhattan, the son of actress Anne Bancroft and director, producer, writer, and actor Mel Brooks.[3] His father is Jewish[4][5] and his mother was of Italian descent and Catholic.

Brooks is dyslexic[6] and attended Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. He studied at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1994.[6] He spent a semester at the University of the Virgin Islands. He also attended graduate school at American University in Washington, D.C.



From 2001 to 2003, Brooks was a member of the writing team at Saturday Night Live.[citation needed]

His first book, The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), published by Three Rivers Press, describes in depth the origin and lives of zombies. The book was followed up by The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks (2009), a graphic novel depicting several of the events detailed in the first book's latter section.

In 2006, Brooks followed with World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which deals with the war between the human race and zombies. Paramount Pictures acquired the movie rights, and Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B Entertainment, produced the film. In the October 2006 issue of Fangoria Magazine, Brooks stated that he would not be writing the screenplay for the motion picture, as he felt he was not an accomplished enough screenwriter to "do it right" (J. Michael Straczynski wrote the first version of the screenplay).[7]

In 2013, Cemetery Dance published a new limited edition of the World War Z novel. Jeremy Caniglia created all new artwork for this special release to coincide with the film release.

Brooks wrote the introduction for the hardcover collected edition of Dynamite Entertainment's zombie miniseries Raise the Dead (comics)|Raise the Dead, released in 2007.[8]

Max Brooks with father Mel Brooks in April 2010

The New Dead (2010), an anthology of previously unpublished zombie stories edited by Christopher Golden, contains an additional World War Z story titled "Closure, Limited".

In 2010, Brooks wrote the IDW comic book mini-series G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds.[9]

In 2011, he wrote the foreword for Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies, a 300-page fiction book written by Matt Mogk.

In 2012, he published Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Tales, featuring the story of that name from The New Dead, along with three other short stories set in the World War Z universe.[10]

In 2013, Avatar Press released The Extinction Parade, a comic book series based on Brooks' 2011 short story.

In 2014, Broadway Books published The Harlem Hellfighters, a graphic novel which portrays a fictionalized account of the entirely African American 369th Infantry Regiment's experiences in World War I, written by Brooks and illustrated by Caanan White.[11] Sony Pictures has purchased the rights to create a film version of the novel, with Caleeb Pinkett and James Lassiter producing on behalf of Overbrook Entertainment.[12]

He wrote the story for the 2016 film The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon.[13]

In 2016, Brooks was invited to MineCon 2016 and announced that he was working on a new novel based on Minecraft.[14] The book, Minecraft: The Island, was published in July 2018.

In August 2019, Brooks new book was announced which is titled Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre. It is about the cryptid Bigfoot. It is set to be released on May 12, 2020.[15]

Acting and voice-over workEdit

Brooks has a number of other creative credits. As an actor, he has been seen in Roseanne, To Be or Not to Be, Pacific Blue, and 7th Heaven. He also has a career voicing animation; his voice has been featured in the animated shows Batman Beyond, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Justice League and All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series. During the start of the 3rd season of Lost Tapes, he was cast as himself in the zombie episode, telling the audience about how zombies come to be. He also appeared on Spike TV series Deadliest Warrior, in which he represented the zombie team in the "Vampires vs Zombies" episode, as one of the Zombie experts along with Matt Mogk the Founder of the Zombie Research Society.[16] He also appeared on the Discovery Channel's Sons of Guns in a zombie gun build off ("Civilian vs. Military").

Personal lifeEdit

Brooks has been married to playwright Michelle Kholos since 2003. They have one son, Henry Michael Brooks (born March 2005), and live in Venice, California.[17]


Year Title Role Notes
1983 To Be or Not to Be Rifka's Son Movie
1992 The Public Eye Teen at Thompson Street Movie
1992 Roseanne Snarky Customer Episode: "Terms of Estrangement: Part 1"
1997 Pacific Blue Marty Rosen Episode: "Avenging Angel"
1999 7th Heaven Waiter Episode: "It Happened One Night"
1999 Melrose Place Messenger Episode: "How Amanda Got Her Groove Back"
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Lead Dog (voice) Episode: "Polar Opposites"
2000 Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles Lt. Bernstein (voice) Episode: "Swarm"
2000 Godzilla: The Series (voice) Episode: "Underground Movement"
2000 Batman Beyond Howard Groot / Drew (voice) 6 Episodes
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Tech #2 / Ranger #2 / Punk-Goon #2 (voice) 2 Episodes
2001 Justice League Howie 2 Episodes
2004 Seen Short
2010 Satan Hates You Reporter Movie
2010 Lost Tapes Himself Episode: Zombies


  1. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (June 21, 2013). "Max Brooks Is Not Kidding About the Zombie Apocalypse". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  2. ^ "Max Brooks". Modern War Institute. April 7, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  3. ^ Townsend, Allie (July 26, 2010). "Q&A: Zombie-Survival Expert Max Brooks". Time.
  4. ^ "Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview". The Daily Beast Company LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  5. ^ "The cinematic Zionism of Mel Brooks". The Jerusalem Post. August 12, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Glader, Sue. "Max Brooks, Author * The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity". Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Fangoria Magazine (Oct. 2006).
  8. ^ "'Raise the Dead' Series Collected in Hardcover with Forward by Max Brooks". Comic Book Resources. August 10, 2007.
  9. ^ Manning, Shaun (April 1, 2010). "Brooks Wins 'Hearts and Minds'". Comic Book Resources.
  10. ^ Horror Novel Reviews Max Brooks ‘Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Tales’ Review Retrieved August 14, 2015
  11. ^ Lo Wang, Hansi (April 1, 2014). "The Harlem Hellfighters: Fighting Racism In The Trenches Of WWI". NPR. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  12. ^ Ford, Rebecca (March 7, 2014). "Sony Nabs Max Brooks' WWI Graphic Novel 'The Harlem Hellfighters'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "The Great Wall". Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  14. ^ "Max Brooks is writing a Minecraft novel! Oh yes!". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  15. ^ Squires, John (August 29, 2019). "'World War Z' Writer Max Brooks Returning With Sasquatch Massacre Novel 'Devolution'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  16. ^ "Deadliest Warrior Comic-Con 2011 Panel – Episode 300a"[permanent dead link]. Spike. July 22, 2011
  17. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (June 21, 2013). "Max Brooks Is Not Kidding About the Zombie Apocalypse". The New York Times. pp. 2–3. Retrieved April 30, 2014.

External linksEdit