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Max Landis Accused of Rape, Assault and Psychological Abuse

Screenwriter Max Landis is facing allegations of sexual abuse and psychological manipulation from eight women who told their stories to the Daily Beast.

Two of the women spoke on the record, and another five were identified by pseudonyms. An eighth women confirmed that she filed a police complaint against Landis in 2008, in which she alleged that he had sexually assaulted her while she was drunk and incapacitated. The case was later dropped.

Three of the women alleged that Landis choked them. One woman alleged that Landis held her down and raped her, and would deliberately humiliate her because wanted to have sex with her while she was crying. Two more women described accounts of alleged sexual misconduct on movie sets.

Landis did not respond to requests for comment on the report.

Landis, 33, is the son of director John Landis. Known for writing the screenplay for “Chronicle,” his most recent credit is the David Ayer film “Bright.” Allegations against him have been aired on social media for the last year or more.

Ani Baker told the Daily Beast that she dated Landis for a while and then tried to end the relationship. She says that he continued to pressure her and coerced her into maintaining a sexual relationship. At one point, she says Landis became enraged when she playfully slapped his rear end.

“He turned around and he put his hands around my throat and he got very close to my face and he said, ‘I will f—ing kill you. Do you understand what I’m saying? I will f—ing kill you,'” she told the publication.

Landis has little on the professional horizon that could be compromised as a result of the accusations, a reactive measure Hollywood has used swiftly against men accused in the #MeToo era. While Landis signed with talent agency CAA in 2016, insiders told Variety he is no longer repped by the company. It is unclear when they parted ways, and a CAA spokesperson had no comment.

The Daily Beast also reported that, after a reassessment, Landis was removed as a producer from the upcoming Chloe Grace Moretz film “Shadow in the Cloud.” The decision was made prior to the publication of Tuesday’s report. “Deeper,” a spec script Landis wrote and sold to MGM in 2016 has now fallen off the company’s film slate, an MGM rep confirmed. Idris Elba was attached to star.

Finally, Landis has said he was hired by Warner Bros. to pen a standalone film for the cartoon character Pepé Le Pew in 2016 — a move cast in a different light by the allegations, which, according to the Daily Beast’s report, included calling one woman “paint cat” while pursuing her.

“He jokingly called me a ‘paint cat’ in reference to the ill-fated feline who tries desperately to escape the clutches of Pepe Le Pew,” she wrote in her statement. A Warner Bros. spokesperson had no immediate comment on the status of the project, but one studio insider said the project has been in turnaround for nearly two years, and is unlikely to ever come together.

“Chronicle” director Josh Trank posted on Twitter that he banned Landis from the set of the 2012 sci-fi film and that he “100% believe[s] every word of this article.”

“To read about the terror he’s inflicted on so many women since then makes me sick to my stomach.”

Matt Donnelly contributed to this report. 

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