Max Landis

UFilms, the University of Miami student organization that supports student filmmakers, hosted Max Landis, the screenwriter of the hit sci-fi action film, Chronicle, for a discussion of the day-to-day life of a screenwriter in the film industry.

Landis, 26, was a motion picture student from 2006 to 2008 but left to pursue filmmaking in Los Angeles. As a student, he wrote many short screenplays that were produced by his peers.

During his visit, Landis discussed the ins and outs of film writing, and what he has learned about how a film writer goes about hunting for and handling assignments.

Based on a story by Landis and director Josh Trank, Chronicle is about three teenagers who develop supernatural powers. Their friendship is tested and their lives spiral out of control when their newfound abilities are used irresponsibly.

In early February, Chronicle scored big at theaters, grossing $22 million its first weekend and taking the top spot at the box office, edging out the highly anticipated thriller Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film had grossed $116 million worldwide by April.

Reviewers praised Landis’s authentic dialogue and Trank’s directing debut.


“An auspicious beginning for a couple of exciting, young filmmaking voices,” The Associated Press wrote.

Landis has other big projects lined up. The script he wrote for an outer space adventure was bought by Disney and will be produced by Andrew Panay, who also produced Wedding Crashers.  Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment also acquired his pitch for Amnesty, which Ron Howard has signed on to direct. Also, 20th Century Fox has hired Landis for a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to be directed by Night of the Museum’s Shawn Levy. Landis is also writing and a fantasy thriller adaptation of the classic legend of The Pied Piper.

According to The Fire Wire blog, Landis has signed with 20th Century Fox to write a sequel to Chronicle.