Max Landis (born August 3, 1985) is a screenwriter, director, producer, comic book writer and son of director John Landis. His best known works are the films Chronicle, Victor Frankenstein and American Ultra as well as Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, the TV adaptation of the Douglas Adams Dirk Gently book series, which ran for two seasons on BBC America. He is also a creative consultant for WWE.
Landis is personally known for releasing a series of short films and videos including the well known "educational parody film" The Death and Return of Superman in which he recounts Superman's infamous death and return with the help of numerous celebrity friends. He followed up in 2015 with Wrestling Isn't Wrestling, an exploration of professional wrestling through the kayfabe story of Triple H's career, with the wrestlers portrayed by female models.
Landis is infamous for his eccentric personality, possessing a frequently bizarre fashion sense, an ability to spontaneously generate film pitches, and his often near-encyclopedic knowledge of comics and film. He has attracted controversy for his significant social media presence, apparent high opinion of his own work, alleged sense of entitlement, Hipster lifestyle and supposed It's Popular, Now It Sucks! mentality.
Landis's antics have made him a divisive figure, which, combined with the misconduct accusations leveled against him, has caused his star power and influence to dwindle in recent years.
Tropes applying to Landis' works:
- Affectionate Parody: His The Death and Return of Superman and Wrestling Isn't Wrestling somewhat-mostly-accurate educational parody films.
- 14 Max Landis: a fan film about Max Landis' variety of online persona.
- Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Had half a dozen different projects in production in the years after Chronicle.
- Big Name Fan:
- Of the Screen Junkies' movie debate show, Movie Fights. He was actually featured as one of the gladiators in Episode 47.
- He's also a fan of RedLetterMedia. They interviewed him after they reviewed American Ultra, and he appeared on an episode of Best of the Worst.
- He's been a fan of wrestling, especially of Triple H, since the 90s.
- He's contributed to the SCP Foundation mythos, authoring SCP-2137, The Forensic Ghost of Tupac Shakur.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Definitely on the odd side, but still managed to sell two specs at million dollar prices in the same month he was showrunning a new series.
- Cross-Cast Role:
- The Death and Return of Superman features Whitney Moore, Jennifer Newman, and Jezlan Moyet as Batman, Robin, and Nightwing, respectively.
- Wrestling Isn't Wrestling retells the first 20 years of Triple H's WWE career with a predominantly-female cast, headed by Chloe Dykstra as Triple H. Male wrestlers like Triple H, Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker are played by women, and the only featured female wrestler, Chyna, is played by a man (Sam Witwer). All other parts are played by their sex.
- Epileptic Trees: If "A Scar no-one else can See" is anything to go by, he is very fond of these.
- Executive Meddling: Fox told him to rewrite his script for Chronicle 2 as it wasn't enough of a retread of the first movie.
- Internet Backdraft: He caught a LOT of flack for claiming that Rey from The Force Awakens is a Mary Sue, though he himself has since expressed annoyance and disgust with people who take it too far, such as anti-feminists who ran with the idea, and people who began claiming that Jyn from Rogue One is a Sue just based off of both the trailer and him sarcastically claiming she is as a Call-Back to the Rey controversy. People who weren't familiar with Landis and his pro-feminist views saw the claim as a petty and weak dig at one of the precious few strong female protagonists in a major franchise film.
- Motor Mouth: Specially when pitching movies.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Several times throughout Wrestling Isn't Wrestling
- Promoted Fanboy:
- He's writing the critically-acclaimed DC Comics miniseries Superman: American Alien.
- "Wrestling Isn't Wrestling" led to him being given a position as a creative consultant for WWE. Triple H has claimed that Max Landis is one of the few members of the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) who fully "gets" wrestling.
- Saw Star Wars 27 Times: Has mentioned in interviews that he spent a large chunk of his teen years watching Gremlins 2 every Friday.