Max Landis

Max Landis

As is the case with most Ghostbusters 3 rumors (the kind that we’ve kinda, sorta, mostly refused to cover for years now, except when it seems somewhat appropriate), the latest chatter to come flying out of Hollywood right into the Internet’s face has already proven to be false. Last night, Nikki Finke posted a story to her brand new site that reported that Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis was doing a polish on the latest iteration of whatever the hell this movie is now, which Landis immediately debunked via his Twitter. Finke, in fine form, went ahead and deleted the entire post sometime after Landis shot down both her reportage and her two apparent sources. Of course, this is still the Internet, and you can’t really delete anything from the Internet, so here is a cached version of Finke’s story, if you’re into that sort of thing. You know what’s still culturally relevant? Ghostbusters. You know what’s not? Ghostbusters 3 rumors, especially the kind that can be shot down in mere hours. But this is not about Ghostbusters 3 rumors! (Well, not really.) This is about actual, factual projects that people — in this case, Max Landis — are actually, factually working on right now. You know, movies we might actually get to see. 

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Biopics are a little like the savings bonds of the movie world. They’re dependable and usually low-risk; for every Diana or Amelia or Jobs, you’re sure to find dozens of true-life stories making reasonable returns on their investment. The biopic is both a sturdy workhorse and an easy road to prestige, attracting the highest and mightiest of the film world while still maintaining the “people have heard of this before, probably” branding appeal of an action figure action movie. So naturally, biopics are everywhere, choking our rivers and breeding like rats. And while they might vary a little bit from genre to genre — The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave and Saving Mr. Banks would certainly appear on different shelves in some mythical, non-demolished Blockbuster Video- they’re all burdened down by one gigantic common factor: The Truth. How is it that biopics still haven’t started playing fast and loose with the real-life events they’re based around? I’m not talking about a few fudged details here and there, like when Lincoln tweaked a few 13th amendment votes or when We Bought a Zoo shamefully moved its titular zoo from England to the United States. What hasn’t really happened yet is the biopic that takes a well-known historical figure and places him or her into a situation that’s clearly meant to be fictional. Sadly, the only real example thus far is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and the less said about that particular filmmaking venture, the better. But now the “fake […]

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McAvoy-Frankenstein

So far the only casting news we’ve gotten about director Paul McGuigan’s (Lucky Number Slevin) upcoming Frankenstein project has been the delightful decision to make Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, grow a hump, drool a bit, and play the demented lab assistant Igor—who’s said to be a lead character in this new look at the classic material. Okay, so maybe the hump and the drool is just speculation at this point, but by all accounts this Max Landis-written (Chronicle) take on the Frankenstein mythos is supposed to have much more in common with what we’ve seen in monster movies and Halloween decorations over the past fifty years or so than it does with Mary Shelley’s more heady and less fun gothic novel that originally created the characters. Given that premise, it stands to reason that another of the film’s central characters, the eccentric mad scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein, will likely be a cackling, lab coat-wearing, crazy-eyed fiend. And McGuigan has now found just the actor to play him.

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Chronicle

After the massive success of Josh Trank‘s Chronicle (a success so profound that the director has now been entrusted with the new Fantastic Four, a Venom film, and possibly The Red Star and Shadow of Colossus adaptations), it was only inevitable that a sequel to the found-footage teen-superheroes-gone-wild feature would shoot to the top of Fox’s wish list, but Chronicle 2 is still getting some big kinks ironed out. Speaking with IGN at the Middle East Comic-Con, screenwriter Max Landis was surprisingly candid on just what is going on with the script in general and the new film at large. Right out of the gate, Landis cleared up some on confusion regarding a few comments his dad John Landis made about the new film (sigh, parents), saying that “there was this whole announcement that they wanted to just do the same thing again because my father said that. My father is not involved in Chronicle 2. He doesn’t know the process. It was not his place to say that.” Ugh, stay out of my room, dad!

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Found footage films are often called (by me at least) the new 3D for a few reasons. They’re clearly enjoying a surge similar to the one enjoyed by 3D films for the past couple years. They’re cropping up in a handful of different genres. They’re almost never an integral or relevant element of the film’s narrative. And most filmmakers who employ the technique have no goddamn clue how to make it work. Which brings us to the fun albeit cliched and otherwise entertaining Chronicle.

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The found fauxtage superhero flick Chronicle comes out next week, but Max Landis has already lined up his next project over at Disney. According to Variety, The Mouse has taken the bait on a space adventure from the writer. Not only is it untitled (or without a title they can release at least), there’s also essentially no information on it at all. It involves a brother and sister going through an emotional journey. And there’s space. From that, it’s easy to assume that it will be science fiction on a large scale. What’s interesting is that Disney seems to be putting healthy stock in the final frontier and science fiction – with John Carter trying to become a Spring fixture this year, the video game-inspired Wreck-It Ralph, and this new project in the works. It’ll be interesting to see if they stick with the sci-fi tilt and truly move ahead with more Tron movies. They’ve made confidence announcements, sure, but it remains to be seen whether sequels will survive the development process. That’s not to say that they aren’t placing their narrative bets on other genres. They have Frankenweenie and The Odd Life of Timothy Green coming out this year – a Gothic coming-of-age tale and the organic version of a test tube baby story respectively. Beyond that, they’re supplementing with 3D re-releases of Beauty and the Beast and Finding Nemo this year. Hopefully they can take the money made by converting and shipping reels to theaters and invest it […]

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