When you’re a screenwriter, speed and output are important, but so is quality. For Max Landis, who has penned several films, including his latest, “Mr. Right,” those lessons in balance seem to be coalescing quite nicely.
“Mr. Right,” directed by Paco Cabezas, tells the story of Martha (Anna Kendrick), who falls for what she believes is “the perfect guy.” Only Mr. Right (Sam Rockwell) is a hitman on the run from a crime cartel.
As the son of filmmaker John Landis, it would seem that Max’s education started early. He appeared in a few of his father’s movies (“The Stupids” and “Blues Brothers” 2000 come to mind), but his real breakthrough came with the clever and well-received “Chronicle,” released in 2012. He followed that up with “Me Him Her” and “American Ultra,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. The prolific Landis also wrote the screenplay for the recent “Victor Frankenstein,” starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy.
Landis has the ability to look at well-worn premises and inject humor, while also gently tweaking different genres. As the business of filmmaking has changed and become somewhat constricted over the years (as far as the mainstream, big budget side of things is concerned), screenwriters find themselves more and more in the precarious position of serving interests not directly related to the art of screenwriting.
As Landis has said, “I love my job, it’s a really hard job and there are parts of it that suck. Your [a screenwriter’s] job is to distort, edit, reformat and re-equip your passion, your babies, your scripts to suit a perceived corporate and commercial need. That’s what being a screenwriter is, it’s not writing scripts. Anyone can write scripts, being a screenwriter is changing a script in order to try to get them made.”
You can also read a transcript of this episode.
- Max Landis on IMDb
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- Max Landis website
- Mr. Right Trailer
- Mr. Right on IMDb
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