So, Max Landis…

Posted: June 19, 2019 in Life, News
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Christ, this is very much some dark, scary reading. One aspect of the scary bit is the timeline. I’ve heard for a few years now some rumblings and outright accusations, but this covers a decade or more and is far darker than what I had heard. The thing that’s the most fucked up about that isn’t the timeline in and of itself, it’s more a matter of who he was at the time it was happening. Or, maybe the better way to say that is to say it as who he wasn’t.

I get Harvey Weinstein. I get Kevin Spacey. I don’t like it, but I get it. When Gabriel Byrne did an interview after Kevin Spacey finally fell from grace and said that, yeah, everyone knew as far back as The Usual Suspects that he was doing stuff like that but just never talked about it… It’s power and money and fame.
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Harvey Weinstein could make your career and set you up for big things. Spacey was a huge draw and a buzz name that could help your project and your career. Way too many people were okay with writing off other human beings as collateral damage so long as Weinstein, Spacey, Singer, or others like them could do big stuff for them personally or the business as a whole.
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But the stuff this asswipe got away with for so long? How? Why? He had nothing to offer. There was no benefit in hitching your wagon to his star power or covering up his garbage in hopes that he’d take you somewhere big. His career is largely unremarkable and filled with mostly forgettable offerings that were middle of the road at best.
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As a writer, director, and producer, John Landis has done some television and film work that I dearly love, but he hasn’t been a real power player of any kind in Hollywood for a long time. His name isn’t going to guarantee a hit and big business, and his family name on his son is hardly going to move any needles in any way. His mother, Deborah Nadoolman, was hardly ever a Hollywood player of any sort at all, and hiring her son isn’t going to get you a big boost from her end.
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Yet, Max Landis not only landed jobs but he also kept landing them even after he proved himself a major problem child. Josh Trank says he completely believes every accusor because he had to ban Max Landis from the set of Chronicle- a film he co-created the story for with Landis before directing -because of his antics. Chronicle was a moderately successful film and is likely only seen as such because it cost nothing by Hollywood standards. It didn’t break a full $65 million at the domestic box office and made less than that in foreign box office takes. If it had been a bigger budgeted affair, it would have likely been a box office failure. But a writer already so full of his own stupidity was protected and rewarded for providing, well, nothing much. As with Spacey after his fall, more people- including some past protectors and defenders -are now talking about what they knew about Landis. Trank’s account of dealing with Landis is not unique and apparently, his many antics and problems like the one he created on Chronicle were not a secret in any way.
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Seriously, how fucked up is the entire entertainment business at this point? It’s one thing- inexcusable as it may seem -to see power players and people with great influence protected by the industry they’re in. But a schmuck like Max Landis who literally had nothing of any great value to offer was protected and rewarded for years while he moved from victim to victim and left damaged and scarred individuals in his wake. It speaks of an entire system so damaged and corrupted that it doesn’t view such actions as truly out of bounds by anyone and sees silencing victims and covering for predators as just a part of the normal 9 to 5 of creating entertainment.
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Max Landis is far from special. Max Landis is far from a bankable creator who you know is always going to bring the goods in a big way. Max Landis was not someone who was going to get you great rewards by protecting him and silencing his victims. There are better people than him out there, people who are not toxic predators, who are dying to break in and have their shot at the brass ring. The entertainment industry was apparently fine passing up on their efforts and rewarding people like Max Landis with even more and better gigs despite knowing the baggage he brought with him and the damage he was going to do.
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That doesn’t describe a broken system that needs fixing, it describes a system that needs wholesale removal and replacing.

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