Director Josh Trank supports the women who've come forward with allegations against Max Landis, revealing he banned the writer from the Chronicle set. Both Landis and Trank worked on the 2012 superhero movie, with the former penning the script and the latter directing. When it premiered, Chronicle earned positive reviews from critics and moviegoers alike, leading to a successful box office run. Trank leveraged the success of Chronicle to land the gig of directing Fox's Fantastic Four reboot, but the movie flopped after a great deal of reshoots. Trank has since publicly denounced the Fantastic Four film. Currently, he's working on Fonzo, a film about the later years of Al Capone's life starring Tom Hardy.
As for Landis, the son of director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Animal House), he's penned scripts for critically divisive movies like 2015's Victor Frankenstein and Netflix's Bright. When Bright premiered on Netflix in December 2017, Landis was accused of sexual assault and harassment on social media, with the majority of the allegations being second-hand. Today, The Daily Beast published a longform exposé featuring first-hand accounts in which eight women accuse Landis of sexual and/or emotional abuse. Now, Trank has responded to the story.
In a tweet, Trank voiced his support for the women who came forward about Landis, writing, "I 100% believe every word of this article about Max." Trank went on to reveal he had banned Landis from the set of Chronicle's principal photography, and cut off all contact with the writer in 2012, though the director doesn't specify why. Read Trank's tweet below.
I 100% believe every word of this article about Max. 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.— Josh Trank (@joshuatrank) June 18, 2019
Then, Marlow Stern, Senior Entertainment Editor for The Daily Beast, quote tweeted Trank's statement, revealing the director had been asked to comment on the story through his representative and declined. Again, it's unclear why Trank declined to comment on The Daily Beast's story and chose to make a statement on Twitter instead. See Stern's tweet below.
that’s great but you declined to participate in the story through your rep https://t.co/78VXOAdCWr— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) June 18, 2019
Based on Trank's tweet, it would seem he knows something about Landis that may not be public knowledge, or at the very least gave him reason to ban the writer from the set of Chronicle and cut off all contact. Since Trank seemingly turned down the opportunity to go on the record for The Daily Beast's story, it's unclear if his experience with Landis will be made public. Still, his tweet does show he publicly supports the women who came forward with allegations against Landis. And his lack of a working relationship with Landis goes to show that whatever Trank experienced or heard about the writer was enough for him to sever all professional ties.
Trank's behind the scenes insight may also offer some clarity for why Chronicle 2 never got off the ground. It seems likely Trank didn't return because he'd moved on to focus on Fantastic Four, and Landis previously explained he'd been taken off Chronicle 2 because the studio wanted to go in a different direction than he did. Still, a falling out between Trank and Landis no doubt had some effect on the studio's plans for a sequel. As for what exactly happened that prompted Trank to ban Landis from the Chronicle set, that remains to be revealed.