Most of you have probably never heard of Allan Loeb, but you have probably seen his work. In 2005, the upstart screenwriter had been abandoned by his agent and was nearly broke, living on the proceeds he made from a rewrite of the Patrick Dempsey film Made of Honor that was never used in the film.
Loeb, however, sat down and wrote a movie called The Only Living Boy in New York. It attracted a ton of attention, and was eventually sold for mid six figures. That movie still hasn’t been made, and the last update I can find on it was in 2014, when Miles Teller was attached to it (along with director Marc Webb).
No matter. Once Hollywood decides that a screenwriter is “hot,” it becomes self-perpetuating. He followed The Only Living Boy with Things We Lost in the Fire, a forgettable Halle Berry movie that made all of $8 million at the box office.
Didn’t matter. Hollywood loved this guy, and he followed up Thing We Lost in the Fire with the sleeper hit 21. It was a mediocre movie, at best, but it made a lot of money. Hollywood was sold on Allan Loeb.
Over the next few years, the industry paid him a goddamn mint to write the screenplays for the following terrible movies, most of which underperformed or outright bombed: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps , Jennifer Aniston’s The Switch, Kevin James’ and Vince Vaughn’s The Dilemma, Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s Just Go With It, Tom Cruise’s Rock of Ages, Kevin James’ Here Comes the Boom, and Miley Cyrus’ So Undercover. He’s also developed a number of TV projects, only one of which made it to series, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s New Amsterdam. It was cancelled after 8 episodes.
By 2010, Loeb had used the proceeds from writing all of these shitty movies to buy a $4 million apartment in Manhattan. Simple hype had created something out of nothing. He was perceived as a successful screenwriter, even if there was never anything to illustrate it. He wrote terrible movie after terrible movie until his lack of talent eventually caught up with him.
Does that sound familiar?
Max Landis — whose Chronicle is to his career what 21 was to Loeb’s — also has little to show for his success, other than a series of large paychecks. Me Him Her , Victor Frankenstein, Mr. Right, and American Ultra have all failed at the box office, and all were met with tepid reviews, at best. The combined box office for all four films is $20 million.
Still, he was paid seven figures for the Will Smith movie Bright. He wrote the upcoming Power Rangers movie. Dirk Gently will be his New Amsterdam (it does not look good), and now he’s got his Here Comes the Boom.
Max Landis is writing a Pepe Le Pew movie.
Yes, that Pepe Le Pew.
Max Landis really is the new Allan Loeb. It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood figures it out (and by “matter of time,” I mean about seven to eight more years).