Judging by the tweets and youtube comments, it seems like people had a ton of questions (and misconceptions), not just about the projects (I'd like to limit the Chronicle-questions on this, if you don't mind), but also about who I am, in terms of upbringing, personality, and lifestyle.

BWAHAHAHA I got the date wrong in the picture I just took. I'm Redditing FROM THE FUTURE.


Just to address this:

Yes there will may likely be a sequel. No, I'm not going to tell you what happens in it. No, I'm not going to tell you anything about the CENSORED in the cave. No I don't have any advice on screenwriting; I can only give advice to people I know personally, since screenwriting is an art and art is personal.

ALSO WORTH NOTING: We had our big weekend, and I like Chronicle, and my friends like it, so there's a strong chance that if you don't like it, I don't care. If that's douchey, then I'm douchey.

"I'm douchey." - Max Landis, 2/6/2012

Oh, and PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE, one question at a time. And poke around to see if I answered it already, I went crazy on this today because I'm gonna be mega fucking busy the rest of the...life.

My friend Buz Wallick insisted I do this, so here I am.

Thank you all for participating and asking questions. That was a lot of fun. There was a lot of weird aggression, but supposedly according to my internet savvy friends, that's normal. Now I gotta go back to work. If you liked my reddit, and require more information about food, movies and my cat, you can follow me @uptomyknees. Have a great day, sirs.

Comments: 769 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

SourceError51 karma


Uptomyknees41 karma

It would be fun and easy. The series had one of the darkest endings of anything I can remember.

TheBuz20 karma

It's up there with the ending of Disney's "Dinosaurs".

Uptomyknees34 karma

Yeah, that's the dynamic duo of dismal.

SourceError14 karma


AlreadyTakenWTF20 karma

Well now I have to bust out some ALF knowledge. Never thought I'd type that. In 1996 someone thought that they should wrap up the TV shows loose ends so they made Project: ALF.

From IMDB: Six years ago, the space alien, ALF, was on his way back to his new home...When the Alien Task Force finally caught him. Now, the story continues to where the series ended. ALF is now protected by the Alien Task Force, but the leader wants to terminate ALF. So two officers decide to save ALF by taking ALF away from him. But the man the officers took ALF to wants to finally reveal ALF to the world. Which leads him to more danger...

Martin Sheen is in it.

Uptomyknees8 karma

You just blew my mind.

random_potatoes50 karma

  1. What is your favorite part of Chronicle?
  2. How do you feel about the movie Rampart?

Uptomyknees51 karma

  1. The whole thing.
  2. Haven't seen.

SourceError36 karma


Uptomyknees40 karma

Who've you been talking to?

Vooxie34 karma

Good Guy Max:

Does AMA

Encourages others to ask questions about things other than Chronicle.

RespondsWithBadJokes25 karma

Funny how in Woody's AMA, everyone wanted questions other than the movie, yet in Max's, everyone only wants to talk about the movie.

Uptomyknees16 karma


rlcaliandro30 karma

Loved Chronicle. And I loved The Death and Return of Superman. It was one of the most entertaining things I've ever seen on the Man of Steel and your thesis was what sold me completely, about death in comics. It was quite academic.

Any plans to do other similar comic-based projects?

Uptomyknees35 karma

Not YET. Very busy with other stuff. But...

I mean, the Clone Saga really did suck, didn't it?

mondojay25 karma

How do you feel about the comparison of Chronicle to Akira?

Uptomyknees40 karma

Tremendously flattered. I love Akira, and Andrew in the hospital gown at the end is definitely an intentional homage.

That said, plotwise and in terms of the story as a whole, they really couldn't be more different. They share similar elements, but ultimately Akira is a sci-fi epic, and Chronicle is a drama about a lonely teenage boy.

[deleted]21 karma


Uptomyknees161 karma

pix or gtfo

NeilPoonHandler20 karma

• What do you think of the found-footage film genre and its wild popularity in recent years? Are you a fan of Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity films?

• How does it feel having written the #1 movie in America right now? Congrats, sir! I saw your movie the other day and really enjoyed it.

• What is the average day in the life of Max Landis like?

• If Fox wanted a sequel to Chronicle, would you be interested in writing it?

• What are your favorite shows on TV right now? Are you a fan of Breaking Bad or Community?

• Have you seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (starring Neil Patrick Harris)? You should.

• Favorite ice cream flavor?

Uptomyknees54 karma

Found footage is a medium that's yet to really find its footing. It should be entirely based in character. Cloverfield didn't do anything other giant monster movies haven't done, which bothered me because Found Footage should always be more personal in my opinion; Paranormal Activity really is something special. I kind of love those films.

Feels crazy good. Bizarre. Overwhelming.

There is no average day.


Breaking Bad yes, Community not as much anymore. I Survived is where it's at.

Yes, I have, of course.


dalp19 karma

The "I'm Not Smart Enough to Watch Battlestar Galactica" YouTube videos are the best thing ever. Just so you know.

Uptomyknees29 karma

Now there's a fan.

coffeepunk18 karma

Chronicle was one of my favorite recent movies, which you've probably noticed from the stupid tweets I've thrown your way so thanks for that.

Ebert said "connections don't teach you how to write" in his review - which made me wonder, were you worried about any bias people might have given your dad's career?

And a directly chronicle related question (sorru!) I've read a few things about other endings in the script as well as alternate ways the last couple of scenes w/ Andrew and his dad played out. Was it something you and Josh Trank decided to change before release or was it a studio/editing thing? Just curious about the change - they sounded pretty rad.

(p.s. I really dig the pseudo akira feel to some the movie - now they don't have to do an awful american version)

Uptomyknees18 karma

Studio/budget stuff, but for the most part the message of the ending never changed. One of the other endings is indeed very rad, but I'm happy with what we ended up doing.

I've been dealing with my father's shadow in various ways for my entire life; I'm fairly used to it. Sometimes it still bothers me, but anyone who's paying attention (or wikipedia'ing my ass) can see that my career is pretty far removed from his, so I just hope that people will give me the same treatment as JJ Abrams, in terms of having a show business family.

I do my own thing, and that's what matters.

HBK4258112 karma

Did you ever consider giving yourself a stage name to avoid the shadow of your pops? (ie: Joe Hill.) What advice would you give to aspiring screen writers? Hoping to get out to see the flick soon.

Uptomyknees15 karma

Yes, I did, but I love my name too much. Plus, I love my dad.

One question at a time, re: advice :)

HBK4258112 karma

What was it like growing up with the guy who directed 'American Werewolf in London' , 'Animal House' and 'Coming to America' as your father?

Uptomyknees31 karma


michelledeidre12 karma


Uptomyknees16 karma


Find managers before agents.

Always managers first.

Not many cool on set stories, honestly. I was a SERIOUSLY misbehaved kid, and spent most of the time I could've been doing awesome stuff grounded.

[deleted]11 karma


Uptomyknees17 karma

Sarah, I hate to be a total asshole, but all of this stuff is answered in more conventional interviews with me, and my fingers are sore from typing all day.

However, I will say to you what I've said a billion times to other writers: Know the beginning, the end, and the middle. Be your own biggest fan. AND FINISH YOUR SCRIPTS.

And yeah, it's worth it. It's hard as fuck, but it's worth it.

HBK4258111 karma

Did you purposely say that the Death of Superman issue was in Action Comics and not Superman just to prove that you really don't give a shit about Superman? ;-)

Uptomyknees22 karma

No, I fucked up because I was talking from memory. I give a HUGE shit about Superman. Epic shit. Otherwise I wouldn't have spent the time to make a movie about him.

mastersprinkles10 karma

I'll be watching Chronicle tonight- Is there one cool, kind of hidden fact about the movie that you could tip me off about before I watch it so when I see the movie I catch it?

Uptomyknees19 karma

When they revisit the cave, listen very carefully.

nchammer32610 karma

Yo, do you remember posting your script on the Pointless Waste of Time forums (now the Cracked.com forums) many years ago?

If so, when can we expect to see a full-length version of "Spitting in the Wind", which you described as:

It's about an accountant who ends up fighting the mob with tons of guns and there's a talking rat and Jewish mysticism and an asian prostitute and guns and explosions and absurd amounts of gore.

(I'm being completely serious, for anyone who thinks I'm sarcastic.)

Uptomyknees3 karma

Probably never. That was number 9.

mrwoolery9 karma

The weirdest thing about watching Chronicle was that it seemed to be based on a recurring dream I've had for years...INCLUDING the part where I end up fleeing to Nepal/Tibet.

Uptomyknees39 karma

Someone call Cobb. Mr.Woolery is onto us. The dream is collapsing.

zombeef9 karma

Since I'm a huge fan of comics and funny cameos by famous people, I loved your Death and Return of Superman video. I didn't know I wanted Elijah Wood to be Cyborg Superman, but now that I've seen it, it's the only way I can imagine both Elijah Wood/Cyborg Superman. Wonderful. It's all I've seen of your stuff so far, but I plan on taking my niece and nephew to see Chronicle this weekend. This is a pretty softball question, but were you just a comic reader growing up or do you still read anything? If you do still read, which books are you into?

Uptomyknees13 karma

I was an AVID comic reader, but Civil War killed Marvel for me and the rapid spin out of constant crossover events murdered DC for me, too. It's a bummer.

Sunflower_Fortunado9 karma

I just want to say that I loved Chronicle and the Death and Return of Superman.

This is probably a stupid question, but those are the kind I'm best at.

After they got powers, Andrew's crappy old videocamera was destroyed. They next thing we see, he has a really nice new one. Did he use his powers to steal his fancy new camera?

Uptomyknees22 karma

First of all, not destroyed. Buried.

And just before (CENSORED) psi-wipes the boys, we hear Matt say "I'll buy you a new one."

kennyjiang8 karma


Uptomyknees34 karma




[deleted]8 karma


Uptomyknees9 karma

The original rant contains a lot of epic stuff (a Spiderman/Batman Tragedy off which devolves into a dick measuring contest, extended thoughts on Doomsday, Lex Luthor as The Cowardly Lion, etc), but I think it'll either be parcelled out in minivids or be lost to the sands of time.

hipnerd8 karma

I enjoyed Chronicle quite a bit; but I will confess that Death and Return of Superman was what made me go use Google-fu figure out who you were.

I am glad actually, because I got to enjoy your work without the burden of thinking "This is John Landis' kid," in the back of my head the entire time. So I know my reactions were honest. I had a similar reaction when I figured out that Max Brooks who wrote "World War Z" was Mel Brooks son.

In general, has having a famous director for a father made it harder or easier to to make it in Hollywood?

Uptomyknees8 karma

It's actually a weirdly personal question.

And the answer is both, at different times.

The story of nepotism's role, if any, in my career is fascinating because it goes into the story of my life, and my relationship with my father, as well as my tumultuous childhood and teen years. I don't know. That's a huge question.

Easier at first, I think, way way harder once I actually started trying to sell things. Short answer.

whowriter7 karma

Chronicle was lean and mean and, thank goodness, didn't feel like set-up to a larger series. It was honest and real and -- I think importantly so -- a complete story. (There's room for a sequel, sure, but it never felt like that was the point of the whole show.) Was this something you were very conscious about or is it just good storytelling instinct? Was it something the studio was wary of, that the film didn't seem to be setting up a franchise?

Along those lines, how much time did you spend fleshing out backstory and mythology (even though the movie doesn't concern itself with it)? Seems like you're more along the lines of "OK, a big giant space rock gives these kids superpowers that work like this: here's what happens next..." Which I'd say is a benefit and more interesting storytelling, so kudos on that.

Uptomyknees22 karma

I know the entire backstory. I know what happens next.


None of that is important to Andrew, and it's his movie. Chronicle stands alone as Andrew's story. This was always the intention.

And why does everyone think the rock is from space?

Uptomyknees24 karma

Or even a rock?

ElementPaul7 karma

Hey, Max. Loved the movie and the Death of Superman video. If you could pick from three superpowers to have, which would you pick and why?.

Uptomyknees13 karma

Three? Hm.

I dunno man. That's the sort of question I've given up on trying to answer. One is easier.

Flying. Couldn't you have guessed?

[deleted]6 karma


Uptomyknees20 karma

The (CENSORED) in the cave was never intended to be explained in the first movie. There are subtle hints, but it's not important to the story, so fuck it.

The_Music6 karma

Whose idea was it for Matt to wear the Nostromo shirt? The Alien fan-boy in me giggled.

Uptomyknees15 karma

Steve Asbell, the exec on Chronicle and, surprise surprise, the exec on Prometheus.

[deleted]6 karma

Your script was out on the web long before Chronicle's release. How do you feel about your work being distributed?

I ask because a lot of young writers in college and recently graduated love to hunt for new scripts and share it. With that said, I may or may not have read the script and thought it was awesome.

Uptomyknees7 karma

Ha! I feel good.

Kevinsky6 karma

Really loved Chronicle, my friends and I are in an argument though. I think the guys have a superhero weakness, which is Electricity, is this true?

Uptomyknees17 karma

Interesting theory.

Maybe you'll find out in 2013.

Robo-Captain6 karma

At the end of Chronicle, I thought there was a great opportunity to give Andrew a kind of supervillain costume using the torn up fire jacket and mask. Did you consider doing this, and if so, did you decide against it because you were afraid it would come off cheesy?

Uptomyknees5 karma

Well...yeah. The "supervillain" element, for me, was over as soon as Andrew accidentally fires the shotgun, though.

ActonComics15 karma

Loved the movie, Max. How involved were you in the development/production process? How much time did you spend on set?

Uptomyknees6 karma

VERY involved in development, but never visited set until reshoots in Vancouver. I had too many projects going at once, and I'm still bummed I didn't make it to south Africa.

ActonComics14 karma

Was the found footage aspect always part of the script or did that come later? I'm also wondering whether there were any pitfalls or cliches in previous FF movies you tried to avoid consciously? (Your avoidance of the literal "we found this footage" conceit was the film's canniest move, I think.)

Also wondering how many of the cast were friends/acquaintances versus casting calls?

Uptomyknees4 karma

Found footage all the way.

And in Daros, everyone in it is my friend. In Chronicle, all casted.

noirie5 karma

havent seen chronicle yet but excited for it. question: you have a dream project that a studio writes a blank check for, whats it about, who do you cast, and what is "holy shit" moment of the movie?

Uptomyknees11 karma

I'm already doing it at Disney, google it.

Top secret.

crossdl5 karma

I enjoyed DAROS and wondered if the message at the end about death being broken in comics was especially important to you. Can we expect that you'll be eager to kill your characters to pull us from our lull of disbelief that people we like can die? Will Joss Whedon feel like you're taking his thing?

Also, in DAROS, when you say "Superman is back?", it looks like you're about to cry. Were you?

Uptomyknees17 karma

I was just so disgusted thinking back on that reveal of him coming out of the robot. Tears of nerd rage.

ShustOne5 karma

Hi Max! I really enjoyed Chronicle. I thought it was clever that everything was told through the eyes of cameras/electronics. I felt near the end that it hurt it a little bit because for a few minutes there weren't really close up intense shots, just far off zooms. I still loved the movie but I'm just wonder if it was hard to come up with ways to have a camera always be near the boys?

Uptomyknees10 karma

That's director's purview, not mine. Glad you enjoyed it though!

ApeWithACellphone5 karma

As on artist, what is your stance on net neutrality, the government censoring the web, piracy legislation and things of that nature? Also, stance on cats please.

Uptomyknees17 karma

I'm pretty much just another daily show democrat, unfortunately. Very few deep or studied opinions. "CENSORSHIP = BAD. SOPA = BAD." That's me.

Stance on cats is: as close as possible.

atlaslugged5 karma

In an interview you said you've written 59 screenplays starting at age 16.

  • Do you think that was the best way to learn?
  • Were most of them bad?
  • Had you studied screenwriting/storytelling before you started writing?

Uptomyknees8 karma

Sixty four now.

  • YES.
  • YES. Though some of them have great scenes or really good ideas or characters in them.
  • No.

W3dn3sday5 karma

Congratulations on having number one movie in America. Second love the Death and Return of Superman. My only question is...Why oh why did you have to mix Johnnie Walker with water?

Uptomyknees17 karma

I'm a huge pussy, basically.

StikkiikkitS4 karma

It's REALLY bothering me about something you said. I just watched Chronicle and LOVED it but you told a fellow redditor to "Listen carefully when they revisit the cave". Now I'm SO CURIOUS as to what was said. If a fellow redditor or MAX himself (fingers crossed) can cure my maddening curiosity please do so! Thanks

Uptomyknees9 karma

There's just a hint of something more going on. It's pretty blatant.

Aurora_B4 karma

The movie was very interesting to watch, thanks so much!

So, the movie had a PG-13 rating and was already dark as it was and already clearly pushing its boundaries. Would you have wanted it to be darker or pushed to an R rating? If so what kinds of changes would you make? Were you comfortable with the rating or wished you had more room to explore the depths of the characters?

Uptomyknees11 karma

The original script was R, but we cut very little. It's around, if you can find it, and want to see Andrew's dad get the spider treatment.

Barkingpanther4 karma

How'd you get Ron Howard to be in your Superman flick?

And was that Joel McHale as Doomsday's creator?

...loved that whole thing, by the way. You should break down Knightfall for your next movie. Tie it in with the upcoming Nolan flick. Synergy!

Uptomyknees8 karma

I already did Knightfall, in college. Search "Cooking With Comics Knightfall."

No, it was veteran character actor Jimmy Simpson.

And Ron is directing one of my movies!

dr_phatnom4 karma

Who is your favourite superhero?

Uptomyknees10 karma

Travis Bickle.

danielmasterson4 karma

How much faster do you think Batman would have been able to beat Doomsday?

Uptomyknees3 karma

Two issues maximum.

YB1234 karma

I have to say the trailer didn't make me jump to go see it, but that may be due to association with poorly done found-footage films that have come out in recent years. Based on all the great feedback (and you being really cool) I'm going to check it out this weekend. My question: What candy should I get with my popcorn? Should an Icee be involved?

Uptomyknees9 karma

GUMMY BEARS. Always. I hope you enjoy it.

scottykn0ws4 karma

I am debating whether or not to follow you on Twitter. What will you contribute to my timeline?

Uptomyknees14 karma

Almost nothing. Inane musings about my life, multiple times a day.

symbfox3 karma

Do any of your ideas have a cyberpunk, post apocalyptic (i.e. Akira) style to them? perhaps any futuristic neo-tokyo spins to them?

Uptomyknees3 karma


Tier43 karma

You are the anti-Harrelson.

death_by_spoon3 karma

  1. What comic book do you think should be made into a live action movie?
  2. If you could cast director, cinematographer, actors, etc. for the Akira movie, who would you choose?

Uptomyknees9 karma

  1. Catman (from Suicide Squad, yes)
  2. Akira is a unique piece of art. And shouldn't be tampered with. One of the few cases where I actually believe that.

itisthefirsttime3 karma

Will you introduce me to you beautiful actresses?

Uptomyknees9 karma

no, they are my precious.

DEMAG3 karma

Weren't you banned from somethingawful the day you registered?

Uptomyknees4 karma

Hahaha yes I can't remember why though

Balthanos3 karma

Where do you see the future of comics? Will they eventually evolve or stay cooke-cutter(esque)?

Uptomyknees3 karma

Don't know, really. What do you mean, evolve? Comics are such a wide medium at this point, that's like asking about every genus of life on earth.

brolydiver3 karma

some say that "the chad who would be king" was your pinnacle achievement. what are your thoughts?

Uptomyknees3 karma

To this I would simply nod emphatically.

sharabii3 karma

Question here, your father is a director, what did you learn from your father that you can say you applied yourself in your movies so far?

Uptomyknees3 karma

Basically story telling instincts, and a sense of what the writer can get away with.

Matthews_huh3 karma

It seems like you immediately jumped into big screen recognition, how did you do this so quickly? Was there a process involved that you could explain? and perhaps elaborate on the writing and selling of the script?

Uptomyknees3 karma

That's a huge question. Basically I had been a writer people knew of for a couple years, but people were shy to buy my stuff for various reasons. By the time Chronicle sold, I'd already made a lot of connections and my newer scripts, which are admittedly much better, sold quickly.

TKSFGK3 karma

Just got back from Chronicle, was wondering what were your influences when writing the film? Did it initially start as a found footage type dealey or was it more 'conventional'?

Uptomyknees4 karma

Always found footage.

skydart2 karma


skydart3 karma

That's not my question. My question is how does it feel to have the best hair in Los Angeles?

Uptomyknees3 karma

Come over and find out.