Max Landis (born August 3, 1985) is an American screenwriter, director, producer and comic book writer who wrote the films Chronicle (2012), American Ultra (2015), and Victor Frankenstein (2015), as well as a variety of short films including The Death and Return of Superman and Wrestling Isn't Wrestling. He is an executive producer on the Syfy anthology horror series Channel Zero, as well as creator and showrunner for the American adaptation of Douglas Adams' science fiction detective comedy novel series Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on BBC America, which both premiered in October 2016.
Landis at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
August 3, 1985 |
Beverly Hills, California, United States
|Occupation||Screenwriter, film director, producer, comic book writer, actor|
Deborah Nadoolman Landis
Landis has also written for comic books, beginning as the author of the DC Comics seven-issue mini-series Superman: American Alien (2015-2016) and continuing with the nine-issue medieval fantasy drama series Green Valley for Image Comics (2016–2017).
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 Connecticut, 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 Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval rating of 85% based on review from 171 critics, and the site's consensus says 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 top the weekend box office. It eventually grossed over $126,000,000. Landis wrote a draft for a sequel, but Fox was unhappy with the draft and Landis is no longer working on the project.
In September 2012, Landis created a TV series and sold it to Fox and planned to 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 also wrote the pilot script. Though the initial report described the show as a "superhero police drama," Landis said 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 comedic short 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.
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 was later on secretly hired as a consultant for WWE Raw.
Landis is the author of the DC Comics seven-issue mini-series Superman: American Alien (2015-2016), which was launched on November 11, 2015, and concluded on May 18, 2016. The series has enjoyed a very positive reception for its grounded take on the titular character and artwork, which varies from issue-to-issue as an artistic choice to tell various segments of Clark Kent's life through different tonal art styles (the art for the series was drawn by Nick Dragotta, Tommy Lee Edwards, Joëlle Jones, Jae Lee, Francis Manapul, Jonathan Case, and Jock, with covers drawn by Ryan Sook.) The collected hardcover edition with bonus material was released on October 18, 2016.
This section needs to be updated.(December 2016)
In April 2011, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment purchased Landis' pitch for Amnesty. Brian Grazer was set to produce the film and Ron Howard to direct. In 2011, 20th Century Fox's Davis Entertainment hired Landis in May 2011 to script a reimagining of the German fairy tale of the Pied Piper. 
In 2012, Landis' script for Good Time Gang was optioned by RCR Pictures, a production company helmed by Robin Schorr and professional poker player Chris Ferguson. The film was to star Jonah Hill and Mark Wahlberg as a "bumbling pair of antiheroes". The cast was also to include Chris Evans.
In January 2012, Variety reported that Disney picked up a pitch Landis made for a space adventure focusing on a brother and sister. According to Landis' Twitter account, he is also working on a project entitled Villains.
In April 2012 Landis was set to 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 was based on a script Landis wrote in college.
On March 30, 2016, it was announced that Landis's script for a psychological drama-thriller titled Deeper is set to be directed by Kornél Mundruczó, starring Bradley Cooper and produced by Landis and David S. Goyer. Production is expected to start late in 2017. 
On November 7, 2016, Deadline reported that Max Landis will write and direct a remake of his father's film An American Werewolf in London. The remake will be produced by Skybound Entertainment and being helmed by The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman and David Alpert.
Landis is an outspoken fan of pro wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, as well as pop artist Carly Rae Jepsen; A Scar No One Else Can See: The Jepsen Pattern, a "living document" essay written by Landis that deconstructs Jepsen's song lyrics by theorizing a specific, recurring personal motif that encompasses her entire discography, was posted online on September 12, 2017.
|1996||The Stupids||Role: Graffiti Artist|
|1998||Blues Brothers 2000||Role: Ghostrider|
|2010||Burke & Hare||Role: Handsome Coachman|
|2012||Chronicle||Yes||Story co-written with Josh Trank|
|2015||Me Him Her||Yes||Yes||Role: Party Bystander|
|Victor Frankenstein||Yes||Based on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley|
|TBA||An American Werewolf in London||Yes||Yes||In development|
|2005||Masters of Horror||Yes||1 episode: "Deer Woman"|
|2009||Fear Itself||Yes||1 episode: "Something with Bite"|
|2016–present||Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency||Yes||Yes||Creator. Based on the novels by Douglas Adams.|||
|2012||The Death and Return of Superman||Yes||Yes||Role: Himself|
|2015||Wrestling Isn't Wrestling||Yes||Yes||Yes||Role: Himself|
|2007||Trailers from Hell||Himself as commentator|
|2015-present||Movie Fights||Himself as competitor (6 episodes)|
|2015||Best of the Worst||Himself|
|2016||Honest Trailers||Writer: "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"|
|2015||"One Last Time"||Director|
|2014||SCP-2137 - The Forensic Ghost of Tupac Shakur||Writer||SCP Foundation|
|2015||Superman: American Alien||Writer||DC Comics||Will Eisner Award Nomination, Best Writer|
|2016||Green Valley||Writer||Image Comics|
|2017||A Scar No One Else Can See: The Jepsen Pattern||Writer||Self-published|
|TBA||Superman: Agent of Batman||Writer||DC Comics|
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