On the dawn of the San Diego Comic-Con, writer Max Landis tweeted that he won’t be involved in Twentieth Century Fox’s sequel to Chronicle.
“Chronicle 2 is still probably happening, just not with my involvement as of now. It’s a bummer, but there are no real hard feelings,” he stated.
“They hired new writers on it. I’m sure they’ll announce soon. Just hope this answers the questions I’ve been getting everyday.”
Josh Trank made his directorial debut with Chronicle, which took in $126M worldwide at the box office. It sort of rendered the Akira adaptation useless. In it, “Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.” READ MORE
A few months ago we filed this report on the state of the upcoming sequel to Chronicle, in which John Landis (father of writer Max Landis) stated that Fox wasn’t entirely happy with the new script, “He wrote a sequel, and it’s amazing, and the studio read it and said, ‘We want ‘Chronicle’ again!’ And he said, ‘No, this is the sequel, it’s the evolution, and they said ‘No, we want that movie again!’ So it’s difficult, we’re dealing with a difficult business.”
Max Landis took some time over the weekend at Middle East Comic-Con to speak with IGN about the film. Among other things, he clarified that his father was perhaps talking out of turn. “[He's] not involved in Chronicle 2. He doesn’t know the process. It was not his place to say that.” Landis added that the new film would be dark, and perhaps that’s the stumbling block. “The report came out that they [the studio] didn’t like my script. They liked my script. It’s just a really dark script. The question is more of ‘How do we all compromise to get something we want?’ And that’s an incredibly slow process.”
This still sort of sounds like they didn’t like it if you define “liking it” as “wanting to make it.” However, Landis concluded the interview by saying the movie is definitely happening and, “60-75% sure that it will be a pretty damn good movie.” I actually really enjoyed the first film, placing it on several “Best Of 2012″ lists for the site. Let’s hope that the odds for the sequel increase steadily as the process chugs along.
Chronicle was one of this year’s surprise hits, and deservedly so. It’s a really fun movie that announced several major new talents like director Josh Trank who will be helming the upcoming Fantastic Four (with the talented Jeremy Slater steering the script). Other talented people who got a career boost out of the film include Dane Dehaan, Michael B. Jordan and Australian actor Alex Russell (the latter of whom is rumored to be returning for Chronicle 2).
Then there’s the credited writer, Max Landis. I’m not sure exactly how much of the film’s success he’s responsible for – Trank seemed to be the powerhouse there – but he’s certainly been enjoying a high profile since its release. Fox kept him onboard to draft Chronicle 2 and they don’t seem too happy with the results. The Playlist was speaking to John Landis (An American Werewolf In London, Blues Brothers) about his own film troubles when he decided to discuss his son’s recent problems. ““He wrote a sequel, and it’s amazing, and the studio read it and said, ‘We want ‘Chronicle’ again!’ And he said, ‘No, this is the sequel, it’s the evolution, and they said ‘No, we want that movie again!’ So it’s difficult, we’re dealing with a difficult business.”
I read a post on Collider that expressed some disappointment in Fox for being “unwilling to take risks with the sequel.” I also hate when studios refuse to take risks but, in this case, I’m guessing that they just didn’t like it. If you’ve seen Landis speak at conventions he doesn’t seem big on listening, which can complicate things when working with a studio.
Bloody Disgusting stringer Maria Lewis (@moviemazz) writes in with some first word on Chronicle 2!
It was one of the surprise hits of the year, so what’s unsurprising is that Chronicle is ‘definitely’ getting a sequel. Australian actor Alex Russell played one of the teen-turned-superheroes and said his character Matt is the focus of the follow-up film.
“That’s the plan,” he said.
“(Screenwriter) Max Landis is working hard on that right now.
“He’s dropping hints here and there all over the world, he loves to keep people sweating.”
Russell – who recently arrived in Toronto to begin work on the Carrie remake – said he speaks regularly with Landis about Chronicle 2, but the screenwriter is keeping him in the dark about specific plot points. READ MORE
In an interview with Tbreak, Chronicle writer Max Landis reveals a small spoiler for the film on how the footage from Chronicle affects the events in the sequel:
“…the movie you saw (Chronicle) in the sequel, is a thing. That edited footage… is a thing. So it’s not like ‘we found this footage after this kids died’. You can’t deny cars being thrown in the air in Seattle. You saw all those helicopters. The world changed. That’s the end of Chronicle. And things are going to be different now. They can’t possibly cover up what happened.”
While also revealing that director Josh Trank is unlikely to return for the sequel, he does tease the return of Alex Russell as “Matt Garrety”. “I loved Matt, and I felt really bad for him because I understood just how emotionally lazy he is and how he doesn’t really do what he’s doing. And that’s why I’m putting him through hell in (Chronicle) 2.”
The low(er) budgeted Chronicle, which has made nearly $125 million worldwide, was basically a modern/American Akira about three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery.
Josh Trank’s Chronicle was a breath of fresh air. I really, really liked the movie. There were elements that kept me at arms length, but I certainly didn’t regret my time with it and am looking forward to seeing it again.
What I’m not necessarily looking forward to is Chronicle 2. They’ve hired Max Landis, writer of the first film (from a story by him and Josh Trank) to pen it – which is fine in theory. Per Deadline, “Landis wrote ‘Chronicle’, the first installment of the sci-fi feature that has grossed more than $105 million at the box office worldwide since the Fox release opened in early February. Starring Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan, the first Chronicle centers on three high school friends who gain superpowers but find their lives going out of control and friendships tested as they explore the dark side.”
A few hesitations. Even though Landis is the credited screenwriter of the first film, it feels very much like it was Josh Trank’s vision. I’m not sure if he’s coming back, but as of yet it appears that there are no concrete plans for him to do so. Landis’ shorts, and by extension Landis himself, can come across as grating. I’m not sure what a feature of his without a collaborative system of checks and balances would look like. And finally, from a story standpoint, it seems totally unnecessary. Sure they could find a new group of kids, or continue on with the surviving characters, but I feel that the story was sufficiently wrapped up in the first film.
What are your thoughts? READ MORE