On Tuesday, The Daily Beast published an article in which eight separate women accused Max Landis, the screenwriter of American Ultra and Bright, of abusive behavior, including rape. Later that day someone who knows him — director Josh Trank, who directed Fantastic Four and Chronicle, the latter written by Landis — came forward to say he believes the charges.
“I 100% believe every word of this article about Max,” Trank wrote on Twitter. “I banned him from visiting principal photography of Chronicle, and I haven’t spoken to him since 2012. To read about the terror he’s inflicted on so many women since then makes me sick to my stomach. Heartbroken beyond measure.”
Mind you, this doesn’t mean he has corroborating evidence for the claims made against Landis. Also mind you, Trank didn’t go into specifics about why he banned him from the shooting of the movie he himself wrote. But that he’s not surprised about Landis — the son of director John Landis, famous for Animal House, Trading Places, and being acquitted for the accidental and preventable deaths of three actors, two of them children, while helming a dangerous scene for 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie — speaks volumes.
In The Daily Beast article, the eight women go on record as saying Landis was “serial rapist, gaslighter, physical and psychological abuser who tormented” them. One subject says Landis liked to choke her and make her cry during sex. He also allegedly intimidated women, going so far as to discredit them if they dared speak out about his abuses. There have been rumors about Landis’ behavior for years, especially after the rise of the #MeToo movement, but this is the first time the screenwriter has been formally accused.