Check out the promo for the writer-director's L.A.-set love story

March 04, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST

Max Landis is known for writing the action-filled big screen spectacles Chronicle, American Ultra, and the Daniel Radcliffe-starring Victor Frankenstein. But his directorial debut is a comedy called Me Him Her.

Released in New York and Los Angeles on March 11 (and also available on VOD and digital platforms from that date), the film concerns a closeted heartthrob TV star (Luke Bracey) and his L.A.-visiting buddy (Dustin Milligan) who ends up in a complicated relationship with a lesbian (Emily Meade). What gives?

“I’d never really directed anything before and the majority of things I write are larger-scale science fiction things,” says Landis. “Even my smallest movie, Chronicle, had people flinging buses at each other with telekinesis in the script. I wanted to learn [how to direct] and, when I wrote the script, this seemed like the perfect movie to learn on.”

The writer-director also admits he wanted to make the movie himself because of its personal nature. “Most of the things in the movie really happened to me,” he says. “There are large elements of the movie that are based on a true story, which is the only thing I’ve ever written like that. I almost never write about myself in scripts. Me Him Her is sort of the lone exception to that rule.”

In addition to the three leads, the film’s cast also includes Geena Davis, Scott Bakula, and former child star Haley Joel Osment, who plays a crazed version of himself. “I’m friends with Haley Joel and I was frantic to have him in there because I wanted to do a fictionalized version of him,” says Landis. “Haley is a a very grounded, sweet, smart, funny guy. He is as well-adjusted, and as good as an actor as you could hope for, from this insane upbringing in the industry. I thought it would be fun to turn him into a complete monster.”

So, has Landis’ experience on Me Him Her made him reconsider his feelings about any directors who may have irked him by tampering with his screenplays? “I just have more respect for directors in general now,” says the filmmaker, whose father is legendary Trading Places and An American Werewolf in London director John Landis. “There’s only one way to learn how to make a movie and that’s by making a movie. It’s such an unbelievably daunting challenge. I have nothing but respect for anyone who’s worked on any film, never mind my own. It also changed my view of my father. In my head, he became Herculean and legendary. Whereas before he was always just my dad.”

Landis personally oversaw the creation of the film’s new trailer, after being disappointed by a previous promo. “The film is an odd duck and the trailer that had been made was very typical and generic in a way that didn’t represent the tone of the movie,” he says. “I feel that this one really does.”

You can see that new trailer exclusively above.

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