Childhood & Early Life
Max Handelman was born on May 3, 1973, in Portland, Oregon, US. He grew up in a Jewish household and studied at the ‘Catlin Gabel School,’ from where he completed his graduation in 1991.
He attended the ‘University of Pennsylvania’ and obtained his bachelor's degree in 1995. There, he was a member of the ‘Alpha Epsilon Pi’ fraternity.Following this, he enrolled at the ‘UCLA’ and earned an MBA degree in 2003.
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Max is a huge fan of fantasy football and other fantasy sports. His first book on the subject was co-authored with his long-time friend Erik Barmack. Titled ‘Why Fantasy Football Matters: (And Our Lives Do Not),’ the book was published in August 2006. Max is also a great fan of the Oregon-based basketball team, the ‘Portland Trail Blazers,’ and together with Barmack, he collaborated on a weblog named ‘Beyond Bowie,’ covering the ‘Blazers.’
He worked with ‘News Corporation’ as a director and helped launch the ‘Fox Sports’ fantasy football division.
Max has also worked as a producer. He is a co-founder and partner of the film production company ‘Productions.’ Over the years, he has worked in several big-screen projects, a TV film, and a web series.
He made his debut as a producer with the American science-fiction mystery film ‘Surrogates,’ along with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. The film was directed by Jonathan Mostow and had Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Ving Rhames, Rosamund Pike, James Cromwell, and Boris Kodjoe in starring roles. It released on September 25, 2009, and became a sensational hit, grossing over $122 million at the box office.
Following this, he co-produced the American comedy ‘Pitch Perfect’ along with his wife, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Brooks. The film was directed by Jason Moore and written by Kay Cannon. It had Elizabeth in the ensemble cast and premiered in Los Angeles on September 24, 2012. It was released in the US on September 28 that year. It became both critically and commercially successful, garnering a whopping $115.4 million at the box office, against a budget of $17 million.
Following this, the trio of Max, Elizabeth, and Paul Brooks produced two sequels of the award-winning film ‘Pitch Perfect,’ namely ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and ‘Pitch Perfect 3.’
The sequels released on May 15, 2015, and December 22, 2017, respectively, in the US. ‘Pitch Perfect 2,’ directed by Elizabeth, grossed more than $287 million worldwide and emerged as the highest-grossing music comedy of all time. Pitch Perfect 3’ also became a commercial hit and became the second-highest-grossing music comedy film of all time.
Meanwhile, Max, by then an active producer, worked as an executive producer for the American comedy series ‘Resident Advisors,’ along with Elizabeth, Michael Petok, Natalia Anderson, and Ira Ungerleider. The series was created by Alex J Reid, Natalia Anderson, and Taylor Jenkins Reid and premiered on ‘Hulu’ on April 9, 2015.
The Tommy O'Haver-directed biographical drama on atheist activist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, titled ‘The Most Hated Woman in America,’ saw Max contributing as a co-producer along with Elizabeth and Laura Rister. The world premiere of the film was held at ‘South by Southwest’ on March 14, 2017, while it was released by ‘Netflix’ on March 24 that year. It received mixed critical reviews.
He also produced the 2017 TV movie ‘The Trustee.’
Max and Elizabeth are working as producers through ‘Brownstone Productions,’ along with Doug Belgrad and Elizabeth Cantillon, for the forthcoming action comedy ‘Charlie's Angels,’ a reboot of the ‘Charlie's Angels’ franchise. Based on the TV series of the same name, the film is directed and co-written by Elizabeth, who will also appear in it as ‘Bosley’ The film will star Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska. It is scheduled to be released by ‘Sony Pictures’ on November 1, 2019.
Family & Personal Life
Max met Elizabeth Banks, now a noted American actor, director, model, and producer, on September 6, 1993, during their college days at the ‘University of Pennsylvania.’ After dating her for years, Max married Elizabeth on July 5, 2003. Elizabeth went through parts of conversion to Judaism, the faith of her husband, and studied with the rabbis.
In March 2011, Max and Elizabeth welcomed their first child, their son Felix, through surrogacy. The couple had their second child, another son, Magnus Mitchell Handelman, again through gestational surrogacy, on November 14, 2012. Max and his family live in Los Angeles, California, US. According to sources, Max’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.5 million.