Shadow in the Cloud director clarifies Max Landis’ lack of involvement

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

While I've mentioned before that I've been looking forward to the WWII creature feature Shadow in the Cloud, starring Chloë Grace Moretz and directed by Roseanne Liang (mainly due to its fun and goofily earnest B-movie vibe), the film has come under some – I'd argue deserved – controversy and scrutiny. Namely, that one of its co-writers is none other than Max Landis, who has been credibly accused by multiple women of sexual and physical abuse.

However, in a recent interview with THR, director and co-writer Roseanne Liang (Do No Harm) addressed these claims head-on, including the fact that not only was Landis barely involved (sending a script that was only 70-pages long that she rewrote the majority of), but that she both believes Landis' victims, as well as sympathizes – and even agrees – with those who can't look past his association with the film, regardless of how minimal.

Here are some choice exerpts from the interview:

I would want to know a little bit more about why those people are intent on erasing my contribution to this movie and deciding that one person, who didn’t make the movie, did make the movie. And the reasons why people might want to talk about Max [Landis] are different. For instance, some people might want to talk about Max because they want to talk about sexual assault and rape, which I think they should talk about. If any person wants to boycott the movie because they are triggered … then I support that, quite frankly. I sympathize and I can understand why someone wouldn’t want to watch the movie because Max’s name is triggering. I made this movie with Chloe [Grace Moretz]. I made this movie with Kelly [McCormick]. I made this movie with a number of other female producers and assistants on the directing team. I also made this movie with male producers and assistants on the directing team. If you decide not to watch the movie because of one person, you do you. That’s fine. But don’t tell me that we didn’t make this movie because we did.

The original script I received, the writer of that script [Landis] sometimes uses large-point font. So by the time we removed some of his stylistic flourishes, which involved large writing, the script was something horrendous. It was under 70 pages long. It was a very short script. So that was an issue that we had in the beginning. Part of the rewrite process was making sure that we give people their money’s worth. That way, they don’t go into the cinema and think, ‘Ah, I just watched a 55-minute episode of The Twilight Zone.’ That was a huge fear that I and the producers had through development.

Now, I'm aware many will simply see this as craven damage control (and there might be some of that going on), but – again – even Liang herself admitted that she sympathizes with people who want to boycott or not watch the film simply because they find its association with Landis too troubling, which seems to go against that narrative somewhat. But, hell, even I'm personally a bit wary about Landis' involvement myself, so I get that impulse regardless. However, I also understand that film is a collaborative medium and that Landis' contributions seem to be minimal at best (and as someone who once worked as a script reader, her accusations about him fudging the margins and font sizes are 100% accurate in my experience). Though, to reiterate, if Landis is a deal-breaker, that's completely understandable as well.

Anyway, here's the official synopsis for the film:

A female WWII pilot traveling with top secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress encounters an evil presence on board the flight.

Meanwhile, Shadow in the Cloud is out in select theaters and drive-ins right now (check your local listings).

So what do you guys think? Does the truth about Landis' involvement make you more likely to see the film? Either way, sound off below!

Source: THR

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