Max Landis, son of Blues Brothers director John Landis, has made quite an impression in Hollywood. The screenwriter, who once bragged to the New York Times about having written 98 scripts, now says he’s been the subject of four unflattering ones. The latest: “The Untitled Lax Mandis Project,” a troll-y spec script about a divisive, self-indulgent character who seems curiously similar to Landis himself, whom the A.V. Club once described as a “self-styled brat screenwriter.” The script, which follows a “frustrated film exec at odds with the state of his industry” who is paired up with “the one person who is making him question everything,” made the 2016 Hollywood Black List.
The plot of the Lax Mandis project is vague, but according to Landis’s recent Facebook rant, the full script is more pernicious. But not for the reasons you’d think: “My problem is that what is essentially a self indulgent, masturbatory 100 something page troll tweet temper tantrum was allowed to take the spot of some other actual script with an actual story someone felt passionate about on The Black List,” Landis wrote. That’s right. It’s not that someone sat down and typed out something unflattering, but that the script took a coveted position on the Black List. “I find that the character of ‘Max Landis’ is some kind of hyperactive Studio-hack, something I’ve never been; a kind of eccentric, goofball music man-type figure whose work has the depth of a thimble,” Landis wrote, ardently defending that the characterization does not fit him in the slightest. Seth Spector, whose name was credited on the script, could not be immediately reached for comment.