Follow TV Tropes


Creator / Max Landis

Go To

Max Landis (born August 3, 1985) is a screenwriter, director, producer and comic book writer, and the son of director John Landis. He is best known for writing Chronicle, Victor Frankenstein, American Ultra and Bright as well as Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, the TV adaptation of Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently book series, which ran for two seasons on BBC America.

Landis is also personally known for releasing a series of short films and videos on YouTube, including the 2011 "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 this 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. This film impressed both Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon so much that it earned Landis a position as a creative consultant for WWE Raw.

During his rise in prominence throughout the 2010s, Landis gained a reputation for his eccentric personality, frequently bizarre fashion sense, ability to spontaneously generate film pitches, and near-encyclopedic knowledge of comics and film. He also attracted controversy on numerous occasions for his significant and opinionated social media presence, apparent high opinion of his own work (frequently blaming others for any problems in his films) and sense of entitlement, hipster lifestyle, supposed It's Popular, Now It Sucks! mentality, and comments made about the characterization of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that were perceived by many as sexist.

In the late 2010s, multiple accusations of serious emotional and sexual abuse were made against Landis, as well as further claims that his alleged behavior was known in the entertainment industry but protected due to the connections of him and his father. As a result, his career stalled, with scripts of his that were set for production being shelved or extensively rewritten, and his influence has dwindled. While he largely stayed silent on the matter for years, he released several essays on his stance regarding the allegations and ensuing fallout that can be read on his Medium page, and later gave an additional statement in a 2023 video.

Landis has accounts on YouTube and Instagram where he remains active.

Selected works:

Tropes applying to Landis' works:

  • Affectionate Parody:
    • His somewhat-mostly-accurate educational parody films The Death and Return of Superman and Wrestling Isn't Wrestling.
    • "14 Max Landis", a fan film about Max Landis' variety of online personae.
  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: invoked Had half a dozen different projects in production in the years after Chronicle.
  • 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 Gender Flip premise; male wrestlers like Triple H, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are played by women (headed by Chloe Dykstra as Triple H), and the only featured female wrestler, Chyna, is played by a man (Sam Witwer). All other parts are played by their sex.