Love him or loathe him, you can’t fault Max Landis for not having an uncanny number of movie ideas at his fingertips. When he comes down to make an impression in a boardroom, there’s probably no doubt that Landis can talk a better game than most screenwriters. Sometimes, that’s what you need, in addition to having talent, to stay in the game. He works damn hard, and while his comments on social media sometimes land him in hot water, he often knows exactly the maelstrom he’s stepping into. Just as he knows what while these movie pitches he’s telling press during rounds for “American Ultra” will likely never get made, they’re interesting to consider.
For example, he recently provided Grantland with his “pocket pitch” for “Lethal Weapon 5,” a movie Mel Gibson said no to years ago. But in a “what if” scenario, this is what Landis would put on the table for a potential sequel:
The final Lethal Weapon, if I have to pocket-pitch it right now, is Murtaugh and Riggs are asked to work with a group of, like, four cops who are younger, who were all involved in an action movie that we didn’t see. You hear the report, and it sounds like a Lethal Weapon movie: ‘They drove a school bus off of an oil rig?’ Then Murtaugh and Riggs are assigned to take them on like an Outward Bound program and try to teach them to be better cops and respect authority. Then it turns out the villain from the action movies that we missed is coming to kill them. Murtaugh and Riggs in the woods for the first time in any of the movies, with four characters we really like, do a slasher movie.
Okay, so a passing-the-torch movie, with a bit of meta-flavor would be clever—if it wasn’t so wholly out of step with the rest of the series. But as a idea just to toss out there? Sure, decent enough lark.
Meanwhile, Landis has more than one idea for a sequel to “Chronicle,” ones that will probably never seen the light of day given that 20th Century Fox hired someone else last year to write a potential followup. But the screenwriter shared with The Daily Beast his concepts. The first one would’ve retconned the ending of the original film, and found the kids hunted by the government and discovering time manipulation.
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Landis also has another idea called “Martyr” which would introduce a schizophrenic villainess named Miranda who squares off against Matt when her anarchist boyfriend dies.
Lastly, even though it’s not likely to happen, Landis had penned some pages for an “American Ultra” sequel called “International Ultra,” one that would see Kristen Stewart gearing up for ass-kicking action.
It went more into why Phoebe would give up her life (for Eisenberg’s character Mike). American Ultra might not make enough money for a sequel, but the sequel is a Kristen Stewart action movie. Mike at the very beginning gets taken away and hypnotized, reprogrammed, by a bad guy—so Jesse and Kristen are apart the whole movie. It’s Kristen against everyone. But that’s a dream. And I’ve learned my lesson after Chronicle. These worlds are so big in my head. These characters are so real, and I can tell you anything about them. And then something doesn’t make enough money.
At any rate, the writer posted a couple pages on Twitter which you can read below. Thoughts? Do any of these float your boat? Let us know in the comments section.