CULTURE

Yes, We Should Ruin Max Landis' Career

Cancel Max Landis completely.

*TRIGGER WARNING*

Whenever sexual assault allegations are levied against wealthy, powerful men, the same sentiment echoes from the Internet peanut gallery: "But should this really ruin their careeeeeers?"

In the case of Hollywood screenwriter Max Landis, the answer is a 100%, unequivocal, enthusiastic yes.

This morning, The Daily Beast released a bombshell report, compiling allegations from eight separate women—many of them ex-girlfriends and former friends of Max—chronicling a pattern of sadistic behavior towards women ranging from psycho-sexual manipulation to outright rape. Almost all of the accounts are corroborated or backed up by documents and evidence. When we say, "Max Landis is an alleged rapist," please understand that the "alleged" is included solely for our legal team.

Many people might be wondering why we're talking about someone they've never heard of before. After all, those outside of the entertainment industry are probably not very familiar with Max Landis. Within Hollywood, however, Max Landis is a superstar screenwriter, known for his ability to sell loads of scripts on spec (essentially, original ideas he came up with) and his big, loud personality. He's written a number of middling, forgettable screenplays, including Bright and American Ultra. He's also the son of legendary producer/director John Landis, which explains how he came up in the industry in the first place (*cough* nepotism *cough*).

He's also known for being predatory towards women: an open secret that's been circulated by people in his periphery for years. But his scripts sell and get turned into mediocre movies so, for whatever reason, prior allegations haven't stuck.


This time, though, Landis's career won't be recovering. Why? Because nobody should ever want to actively support a known "alleged" rapist, someone who held a woman down against her will as she continually said "no" and had sex with her anyways. Of course, that's not to say we shouldn't believe victims and cancel powerful predators in other situations with less evidence––after all, victim testimony is oftentimes the only evidence that exists. It's simply to say that, in this case, we all know what happened.

There are no puzzle pieces here; this one's clear as day. Max Landis isn't "allegedly" a grey area rapist—he's textbook. But almost scarier than that, Max's pattern of abuse, manipulation, and degradation seems akin to a serial killer's MO. "All of them go blonde, all of them lose weight, and all of them are under his spell," a former friend named Gage told The Daily Beast about Landis' girlfriends.

Moreover, Max Landis' behavior has carried onto his sets. Various women he's worked with on movies spoke to The Daily Beast about him harassing them and assaulting them in the workplace. "At one point we were on set with people around and he pushed me down and got on top of me on a bed. I raised my voice and told him to get off of me, and eventually managed to push him off," said Tasha Goldthwait, a set costumer on Landis' Me Him Her. This dude is "allegedly" such a piece of absolute trash that he can't even keep it in his pants at work.

Even in a culture numbed by the constant stream of #MeToo stories, the allegations against Landis are jarring. We're talking about a guy accused of choking multiple women on multiple occasions, threatening to kill them, and then crying about it to seek their sympathy. We're talking about a guy who keeps a list of women he's slept with, ranks the experiences, and then shows it to current partners to make them cry. We're talking about a guy who "allegedly" told a black out drunk girl that he was her boyfriend in order to rape her. That's who Max Landis is, and nobody should ever, ever, ever support the financial well-being of a person like that.

Boycott Max Landis. Boycott all of his work and every studio or company that ever chooses to work with him again. Boycott every project he ever touches. End his career forever.

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Film Lists

7 Movie Reboots We Deserve Before We Die

More gremlins, more demonic possession, more AOL chat rooms.

Huff Post

Would you rather be trapped on a raft with Kevin Costner when he has matted hair and a seashell earring or return to using AOL dial-up? Would you prefer to discover a demonic cat boy in your home or be cursed to hear every man's waking thought?

If Hollywood movie executives were forced to answer those questions, then maybe they'd show more discretion towards what source material they choose for film reboots. As of now, we're braced for a barrage of superhero flicks and live-action Disney remakes. Not that Hollywood cares, but if we're going to fall into the nostalgic void, some movies deserve revisiting more than others.

Rebooting any of these 80s and 90s favorites would be better than a sixth Grudge movie:

1.The Craft (1996)

The Craft poster that hung on every teenage girl's wall.The Mary Sue

It's the cult hit that confirmed a teenage girl and the devil are one and the same. Coming-of-age movies always find an audience, but a remake of The Craft would be a reprieve from the overly-saccharine tones of today's young adult films and CW network's teen dramas. Robin Tunney, for one, has been ready for a remake of her breakout film since 2016, when the studio first teased the idea for the film's 20th anniversary. While producers confirm they're still developing a script, Tunney regularly reunites with Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True for fan conventions and occasional exorcisms.

2. Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places explored the crapshoot of economic and racial difference.NPR

Even though Eddie Murphy favors his hit Coming to America to this John Landis comedy, he and Dan Ackroyd were excellent at exploring class and racial differences during the economic boom of the 80s. Remaking the comedy today would be a biting satire of today's socio-economic turbulence.

3. Clueless (1995)

Clueless should be rebooted for today's Uber and Postmates generation.Insider

It sounds classy to say this was loosely based on Jane Austen's Emma, but this teen flick was written purely for 90s mall rats and sexually frustrated high schoolers. We're stoked that a remake is supposedly in progress with Glow-writer Marquita Robinson, but a modern-day Clueless would be a massive undertaking, remapping the original's fashion, technology, politics, and dating culture.

4. Gremlins (1984)

We deserve more Gremlins.Creative Tourist

Original director Joe Dante has been teasing a remake of the creepy-cute horror-comedy for decades. In 2014, he acknowledged fans' fatigue with the wait: "I am not involved with it. It's something that we hear about every six months for the past five to 10 years. I know there have been many attempts to do it. It's tricky because the rights are jointly owned by Warner Bros and [Steven Spielberg's] Amblin, so you've got to jump through two hurdles to get your idea approved." More Mogwai are always welcome; if we can live with Will Smith as a big blue genie in Aladdin, we can accept anything.

5. You've Got Mail (1998)

You've Got Mail was nervous about corporate power and tech in 1998. Those were the days.The New York Times

Admittedly, outdated social features in this 90s rom-com include chat rooms, independent bookstores, and a triumphant human spirit. But reimagining the film's conflicts over corporate takeovers and communication technology would be a refreshing take on today's Amazon Prime addictions and bad Tinder dates.

6. Short Circuit (1986) / Short Circuit (1988)

Short Circuit believed robots looked like toasters.Gizmodo

It seems every 80s movie imagined the future was full of junkyard robots and abandoned laws of physics. A reboot of the Short Circuit films would bridge a comedic middle ground between Ex Machina and Wall-E. Again, our hopes for a remake have been toyed with since 2012, with IMDB claiming that writer Brent Maddock re-envisioned the sentient robot and his weird human friends: "Number 5, one of a group of experimental military robots, undergoes a sudden transformation after being struck by lightning. He develops self-awareness, consciousness, and a fear of the reprogramming that awaits him back at the factory. With the help of a troubled young boy, Number 5 tries to evade capture and convince his creator that he has truly become alive."

7. Waterworld (1995)

Waterworld's Sea Eater scene was almost worth the trauma.Film Takeout

Someone dare James Cameron to remake Waterworld. In 1995, it was the most expensive film ever made. With the Avatar director resetting this record with nearly each of his movies, he'd probably flood an entire American city to shoot the opening titles.


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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