Fox Unhappy With ‘Chronicle 2′ Script’s ‘Evolved’ Story

Published 3 years ago by , Updated October 14th, 2012 at 7:50 am,

Chronicle 2 Script Fox Unhappy Fox Unhappy With Chronicle 2 Scripts Evolved Story

This year’s found footage flick Chronicle surprised many for being one of the better stories recently seen in the genre, due in no small part to the strength of the script. The success quickly spawned rumors of an imminent Chronicle 2, with screenwriter Max Landis signed on to continue the story.

In a candid moment, Max’s father Jon has explained things aren’t going as smoothly as one might think. Those hoping to see the premise and mysteries of the original explored further seem to be out of luck – apparently, Fox wants more of the same.

The news comes from an interview conducted by ThePlaylist, covering several of the projects being developed by the veteran writer/producer. During the discussion, Landis commented on the various difficulties and artistic disagreements that can bring even the most promising films to a screeching halt.

Take, for instance, his son Max’s Chronicle 2 script being met with resistance from Fox:

“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.”

That admission is going to disappoint plenty of fans, and we don’t just mean of Chronicle or the found footage genre. It’s not a bad thing that Fox wants to repeat the surprise of the original film, as the super-power-infused coming of age story was artfully handled by both Landis and director Josh Trank. But hearing that the proposed script is actually attempting to evolve the story beyond a simple origin, and perhaps delve into the ‘alien’ technology, was exactly what many had hoped for in a sequel.

Michael B Jordan Dane DeHaan Alex Russell Chronicle Fox Unhappy With Chronicle 2 Scripts Evolved Story

Besides being disappointing from a story standpoint, this news seems to make the odds of Trank returning even less likely. With a job helming the Fantastic Four reboot and the task of developing Shadow of the Colossus for Sony taking his time, Trank himself had expressed concerns that a Chronicle sequel might have to struggle to avoid being a rehash. His desire to focus on more original properties might have made an evolved sequel a possibility, but not a trip down the same path.

Of course, that’s assuming Landis cooperates. The screenwriter has plenty of buzz backed up by an uncanny ability to have story pitches optioned, so this situation could play out any number of ways. We’ll keep you updated if Fox provides a response.

What do you think of Fox’s decision, assuming Jon Landis’ comments were accurate? Could there be a chance to see the superhero-evolution film we’ve been hoping for, or is Chronicle 2 bound to follow the Paranormal Activity route?

For more in-depth discussion of Chronicle, be sure to check out our ScreenRant Underground Episode 24.


Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: The Playlist

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  1. fox is stupid, i want a proper sequel, not a rehash.

    • +100

      The 3 words he dropped on Fox, “it’s the evolution” should of made them piss there pants (I know I did).

  2. A sequel would be interesting but how would they incorporate the found footage angle? By the end of Chronicle I felt they were really pushing it with the camera(s) following the fight scene using cell phones and what not to explain what we were seeing. It was more of a distraction I thought.

    • they can do almost a sequel/prequel and explain some of the “alien powers” aspect, but not more of the same s***

    • I read the script and how they captured the fight scene was a lot different than how they did it in the movie. The script made it more better and believable.

    • Did you see End of Watch? because that movie incorporated found footage and normal camera work and it worked quite well.

  3. Well that is a downer. Fox is gay. So stupid!

    First of all a sequel isn’t nessecary but if its as good as he says then I kinda wanna see it.

    • Fox is gay? How old are you? 12?

      • Try 5.

      • Or he is in his 30′s like me and comes from a time when “gay” just meant stupid. I love the fact I didnt grow up in a politically correct generation.

        • The mighty avenger hit Unbtrl gay nerve with two snaps in the air!

        • Yeah, I’m from that generation too, but I also stopped saying it in my late teens. I guess some people never grow up.

          • Lol…

          • Lol, I never said it. I just said I knew what it meant because I came from a time when people were not so sensitive about things. :)

            • It’s a sensitive issue because of where the negative connotation of ‘gay’ derives from. Clearly, it comes from ignorant homophobic a holes who thought it would be funny to associate homosexuals with stupid because ‘the lort says F*gs is bad people.’ In case you haven’t noticed, gay people aren’t exactly welcomed with open arms by our society and it’s not going to get better if we keep playing a negative word association game. And it’s not so sensitive to you because I’m assuming you’re not gay, you’re probably white and don’t give a sh*t and basically have nothing to lose in this world. Well good for you.

              • And now you’ve just made it worse by making it a race thing. “probably white and don’t give a sh*t” maybe they are black and don’t give a sh*t about gay people.

                And who is “the lort”? If you’re not refering to a Dr. Seuss character I assume you’re refering to a religious figure. By your own rules if you’re free to be gay certianly you’re free to your own religion or you’re own opinions and if that is a person’s religious beliefs then thats certianly where they may bring their opinion on gay people from.

                I could make a connection on the underintelegent wording of “the lort says f*gs is bad people” and the white thing but that is neither here nor there.

                As for me before you jump on what beleifs or biases I may have as well. Yes I do have my own beleifs and opinions on certian things like this, supporting some things and discrediting others. But when it comes to actually interacting with other people from various walks of life I’m generally accepting of just about ANYTHING inside of or far from social norms or otherwise.

      • You are so stupid. Fox is lame. I would love to see how they would make a sequel to Chronicle :D

  4. I would hate for them to meke me hate the first by just rehashing the same old shiet again and again….. HEY LETS JUST GO BEAT THAT DEAD HORSE PPL ARE DUMB ENOUGH TO WATCH 6 or 7 sequels just like this… go look at saw 1-8 ALL THE SAME….. do the evolution sequel FOX and get it right for once please


    Your loyal money spending (BUT NOT STUPID) fans, P.S. give us more ORIGINAL CONTENT and you will make more money

  5. You know, If I wanted to see the same movie over and over again, I’d watch the Friday the 13th movies. What’s the point of doing a sequel if the movie is the same. Oh Wait,This IS Fox We’re talking about.

  6. Ummm, nobody really knows the ins and outs of this yet. For all you know the sequel script is asking for 100 mil plus in the budget. The first one succeeded because it presented a huge scope movie and premise on a comparatively low budget (40 mil or so). Chronicle did well but only bought in 130 mil worldwide. I believe that this was primarily down to the talent of josh trank being able to produce huge results with his modest budget (much like Neil blomkamp was able to do with district nine). I’d love to know what the plan for the story is but I’m not interested in seeing a chronicle sequel directed by anybody other than josh trank. I also definitely don’t blame the fox chiefs for being super cautious before green lighting a potentially needless sequel

    • Thats what im thinking as well, the “evolved” tagline is all well and good but if its about expanding the story and thus the budget in the 100+ range then i can totally understand Fox wanting to push back. At its core found footage movie in practice should be lower budget film thus less risky ventures. I can understand them wanting to keep it simple, “small scale” and hope to repeat the succeses. If Landis wants to expand the story to have the aliens show up etc or more epict battles etc on paper thats great but as a studio id think twice about plunking down all that money for something that no longer a coming of age type movie wih scifi element to a full blown superheroe action adventure movie with an unknown actor playing lead.

      • “no longer a coming of age type movie wih scifi element”

        A sequel absolutely demands that it NOT be this. That’s the whole point from a creative standpoint. Yes, it’s prudent from a business perspective to want another cheap coming-of-age flick with supernatural overtones, but that’s precisely what is wrong with the Studio model of film making – no vision.

        • @steve C – agreed from a creative pov a proper sequel would need to further expand the world and move it along to something bigger. Froma studio pov you then get something that is no longer “different” although still within the scifi/superhero realm. You are now directly competing with the marvels and the Dc superhero movies. Thats the gamble. They know the teen/coming of age thing worked, they know its different enough to the other mainstream superhero properties. But say they greenlit a more ambitious screenplay, bigger budget etc, would they then recast the lead to get a bigger named actor? Can the remaining guy carry a 100M movie? If there is nothing to differentiate this sequel to the other superhero movie coming out in the next couple years i could understand fox’s position. Somebody said somewhere in the post that the film had a 30M budget and pulled in around 140m or something inthat ballpark. A 100m sequel maybe could do similar numbers or slightly better or it could flop. There’s no huge upside. I think theyd raher keep it smallish and hope for a big success like the first and put the money for the superhero stuff in known quantaties like xmen, ff4. Business wise it seems to be the most logical thing. Unfortunately would mean chronicles could be the scifi answer to some cyclical horror properties like some have suggested, new cast, different reactions, events but similar outcomes etc.

      • Exactly. And what everybody seems to forget is that it’s fox’s shareholders cash on the line and their investment. It’s a gamble and they have to be relatively sure they’ll get a return on what they put in. What made chronicle interesting (for me at least) was that it presented the most realistic and gritty take on the standard superhero movie I’ve yet seen. The found footage element aided this and served the story much like it did in cloverfield, and the POV really put me inside the action. Besides all the is based on Jon landis shooting his mouth off about his son’s work. Pretty embarrassing for max no doubt having daddy interfering with his day job and relationship with the studio. Parents eh?

        • yeah that a first, daddy stepping in to comment.

    • But if that was the case, then wouldn’t the studio have said that?
      The article made it seem that it was more of a creative than a budget issue. I don’t buy the budget argument.

      • The studio hasn’t said anything. So far this is based on what max landis’s dad has said in an interview.

        • id be surprise to hear anything at all from fox. Dont they typically (studios) have non disclosure agreements for this stuff? Guess his dad saying things circumvents that but i would be to happy about it.

    • From what the article says it makes it sound more like fox coped out because they were too scared to take a chance and do something slightly different from a creative standpoint because they’re afraid it won’t do as well. They want the same exact thing as last time so that they are garenteed (atleast as they believe) to make the same amount of money, whereas they have the opportunity to advance and “evolve” things and potentially make MORE money. Their just a bunch of scared S***less corperate excs if thats the case.

  7. They could just leave out the insane nerd guy who snaps, he was so freaking predictable and such a klischee that it almost made me puke.

    • I think you meant to say “cliche”.

      Honestly though, I liked that character and could totally relate to him due to myself being a bit of an outsider at high school (for most of it anyway).

      The guy was constantly picked on at school as well as at home and when he had those powers, circumstance turned him into a villain out for revenge. Very well written and acted I thought. Probably the only well rounded, three dimensional character in the whole movie.

  8. I did not like the first one, so I probably won’t like the sequel either.

    • Oddly neither did I.

  9. Studios fu%# up everything. They’re followers copying what’s in vogue, too scared to be for runners. They’re pimps prostituting others people’s creativity, their vision limited by the dollar sign.

  10. Fox is right, just throw Chronicle in other farm of found footage crap to get milked. It was a horribly ridiculous film anyway, I walked out the theatre within 20 minutes. I am getting sick of that genre it’s being done to death now. It was the original Trank/Landis responsibility and vision of what they wanted to portray, they should already known a sequel was unavoidable when working with a studio like Fox. They just took responsibility and replaced it with irresponsibility just like the characters they made in the film. Now with Trank gone and Landis forced to work the slave route, pfff should have seen that coming a mile ahead.

    • slave route?

    • If you walked out of the film after 20 minutes then you have positively no idea whether it was good or not. The movie evolved into something much more than found footage over the course of its 3 acts. ADD can be treated with meds, you know.

    • I have to ask: If you didn’t even watch the whole film (and didn’t like what you did see), you really have no legitimacy on this thread…WHY are are you here?

      • He’s just a troll man.

        He called me one for pointing out his opinion was ridiculous on the Amazing Spider-Man sequel article yesterday and it’s clear he likes wasting his money by walking out before the movie really starts after the initial set up scenes.

        • I agree…but he keeps coming back. :(

    • And Jersey is at it again…..

      Dont comment on a movie you walked out on. Obvioulsy you didnt see the movie. That takes away your right to comment imo.

      • True dat ;)

        • I walked out on many films and I still preserve my right to comment on them since in my opinion 15 minutes of a film should be a decent portion of the film to understand the basic story. If the story isn’t down by the first 15 minutes or less then I know it’s gong to be a Waldo ( A film which is often trying to find the hard route but fails to be good ). Chronicles was another Waldo to me, it had a why and when but didn’t know where to go. I tried to watch more of it when I rented it but I couldn’t get past it all, it just upset me more like when I first saw it in theaters. It was poorly written as saying the script felt like a MTV reality show on basic level, every character was just poor and generic you even have a black guy thrown in there how generic is that. Not even Ghostbusters pulled that in their first film, just 3 white guys. Were they afraid of getting complaints? The directing style felt like me video taping a college party with my camcorder, the shot is always gonna be shaky and I’m gonna get bumped all over the place. I will give the film 2 effort though.

          • @JerseySchlinder: If you walk out on a film after 15 minutes your only comment can be “I walked out after 15 minutes” because that is all you know. You dont get to have an opinion beyond that. I will never understand people like you.

            Btw, as someone already said, Ghostbusters had their black guy for the better part of the movie. If you had watched more than 15 minutes you would know that.

            • hahaha score 1 for alpine!

              • Jersy considers the first 30 minutes of Ghostbusters, where Winston (the black guy) wasn’t there yet, the whole first movie because thats just how long his attention span is.

  11. If it were up to me I’d do another group of people finding the mystery object. Have all of them turn to the dark side and have the original guy come back to stop them. I’d explore the mystery object more, and do away with the found footage.

    • ohmygod.. Then if you may so, please.. direct the next film. x( At least for me..

      • @haverofsumens – Agreed!!

        Buggout, your idea for a sequel sounds awesome… I’m actually “bugging out” over it. Let me know what you need to get the process to sequel greatness started ;)

  12. I really liked the first one, but honestly it dosn’t need a sequel and I’m not sure how you would go forward from here.

  13. Dear 20th Century Fox, this is why you aren’t allowed to be involved with The Avengers.


    Get your heads out of your butts.

  14. It’s always the same with this movie-studios, they will never learn.
    I more and more hate them, it’s like their only purpose is to subvert and destroy everything with fresh, original and creative ideas in it :`(

  15. This movie left the audience wanting the more after, to see what will happen next, what are the origins of that rock, how will Matt’s powers evolve. These are the questions of the general audience (fans), the demand, and how the story was written to direct us to those questions. Fox is retarded for not listening to the creator who directed the audience so well and created a demand. Are they that conservative? They must stick with the original and make a rehash? They are against any notion of change/evolution? They can’t surprise us again in the context they mean, our cherry has already been popped, we already know what surprises will come if they do a rehash. If you know the surprise then it isn’t a surprises at all.

    “Change is the essential process of all existence.”

    – Spock

  16. I don’t buy this from Landis say what you want about Fox but in my eyes they have more than proved to me recently ( First Class , Rise of the planet of the Apes and Prometheus ) that they are willing to take creative risks with their properties did anyone think maybe Landis Jr s script just sucked and Fox were being polite anyway I just hope Chronicle gets the sequel it deserves I loved that movie Josh Trank showed more talent in a 90 minute low budget movie than Michel Bay has shown in his whole career .

    • Totally, why is everyone so down on fox all the time? Their recent batch of tentpole flicks have been great. The past is the past.

      • Totally agree here are some movies produced by Fox and Fox searchlight in recent years ( 127 hours , Black Swan , Shame , Never let me Go , Fantastic Mr Fox add to that Chronicle , The Rise Of the planet of the Apes and X men First Class ) to me there are some realy interesting and ambitious ideas coming out of Fox .

        And please people don’t tell me all this hate for Fox comes from the fact they own a few of Marvels characters , the hype over Marvel studios is so overblown ( especially here on screen rant ) are Marvel doing a good job yes are Marvel rewrighting the movie handbook as their fans would suggest No not by a long way it’s actuly pretty generic archetypele stuff there serving us ( and before you bite my head of I enjoy all of Marvels films except Iron Man 2 )

        now I am off to get hired by Rupert Murdoch LOL Rant over !

        • And you win the Internet. No argument with any of that

        • Although I didn’t entirely like Quantum Of Solace, you’re right about everything you just said.


        • Personally, I can’t stand Fox ever since they flushed Firefly down the toilet. I will never forgive them for that until the end of my days. But I’ll let them atone for their deadly sin by letting them provide me with decent or even great movies every so often. ;)

          On the other hand I will forever be grateful to Universal for making the Serenity movie. :D

          • Carnt disagree with you there i would also throw The Sarah Connor Chronicles into that mix as for Universal can you name a hit movie they have made in the last couple of years ? i carnt think of any from the studio that brought us Jaws and Jurassic Park they need to up their game but yeah as a fellow Brown coat = ) you make a valid point .

  17. Why don’t they just leave it alone? Why take risks at a horrible sequel to a good, successful standalone film? Oh yeah, that’s right: $$$$.

  18. Funny thing is, I only went to see the movie because I was talked into it and shown a trailer two days before release. Four days later, I went to see it and loved the movie but honestly, the thought of a sequel or answering questions left unanswered never occured to me until now.

    I don’t really think we need to know how they gained the powers or what happens next. Just leave it as one movie because today’s trend seems to be “lets explore this more and guarantee ourselves money at the same time”.

    Not everything needs a sequel.

  19. leaving the movie theater I was thinking to my self… “If they make a sequel I hope its not that same movie diffrent cast” rehash crap they do with movies like final destination. Looks like that is exactly what fox wants. FOX STOP BEING STUPID! THE CHRONICLE FANS WANT A SEQUEL NOT THE SAME MOVIE AGAIN!”

  20. Well It’s about story really and the unfortunate reality that Fox has only a mild interest in its comic licenses. In ‘X-Men: First Class’ the story isn’t even Germaine to the First Class comic. If you read those comics and expected to see something like those stories you would be in for a surprise, because it was almost totally different. Why is that bad? It’s because when you start to do sequels you have nothing to guide you in important aspects of that universe. The devil is in the details after all. Besides this, look at it from the other way around. Why call it X-Men:First Class? You could’ve used any title you wanted but they called it First Class. It wasn’t Even a class! They did it to capitalize on the title, that’s it!! Now just look at the way the science is done in the ‘Rise of The Planet of The Apes’ movie. It’s a joke, it’s not really done that way and it weakened the story. It actually took me out of the story! ‘X3′ and ‘XMO:Wolverine’ similar issues as with First class. Just do what ever you want with the story just so it resolves in three acts.

    Now you have a trophy property that isn’t Marvel, ‘Chronicle.’ And low and behold it’s the property that gives everyone confidence that Trank can do something with the ‘Fantastic Four’ but look how Fox handles it (Chronicle) now. Do you really think that they will let Trank handle the F.F. the way he wants? That’s the stuff that bugs me about Fox. I can’t deny they can do entertaining movies but in my opinion they have too low an interest or respect for this stuff and it’s hurting it overall…

  21. Borderline nepotism. Could possibly explain Max’s “uncanny ability to have story pitches optioned”.

    The ‘found footage’ fad should surely be on it’s way out by now, right? Enjoyed Chronicle but would rather it be a Cloverfield than a Paranormal Activity…1…Paranormal Activity 2…3…4…Paranormal Activity 17. I’m not worried about the story being rehashed, it’s the whole ‘found footage’ concept – over it! Probably why Josh Trank himself expressed “concerns that a sequel might struggle to avoid being a rehash”. Lazy, cheap, gimmicky film making. Try watching these films a second or third time. Better yet, watch all these ‘found footage’ films again in 10 years time. As fresh and creative as some of these films are, it’s not exactly high art. Not bashing Chronicle or films such as District 9, I quite enjoyed them. But they were great within their limitations/restrictions.

    • Actually, I’ve watched “Chronicle” and “District 9″ several times each and loved each viewing. The sub-genre as a whole is not particularly gushing with brilliance and can be quite annoying, but those two managed to rise above the limitations and be excellent films.

      That being said, I’m not sure that a sequel (especially the way Fox wishes to do it) is necessary or even viable for “Chronicle”.

      • You’re right, but like you said, its a “sub-genre”. It has a chance to play with the big boys, know what I mean? They should seize the chance.

        • True…but just make sure it plays WELL (read: quality over $$$, if at all possible) with the big boys. That’s ALL I want. :)

      • ” especially how Fox wishes to do it ” You have absolutely no idea what Fox are planning ! You have literally 0% knowledge of the project , so how can you make that comment ? don’t worry I see what’s happened here the anti Fox ninjas do there work well !

        • The One Guy…

          Decaf is a GREAT alternative. Calm down. You’re right that nobody knows for certain what Fox is planning or will actually do, but I WAS merely reacting (with that particular aside) to what Jon Landis said, regarding his son about Fox’s ALLEGED direction for the sequel. If true, I firmly stand by it; if “stretched” or outright false, hey, no problem…I’ll be happy to see what Max and/or Fox come(s) out with. I’ve enjoyed (and, in fact, OWN) quite a few Fox films.


  22. This just shows us, yet again, that there are people at Fox who have no business making these decisions. Do they pay by the stupid idea over there??

    • Can you back that sweeping statement up with any proper facts in case you hadn’t noticed its not 1999 anymore it’s 2012 and Fox Corparation and Fox searchlight have some dam fine films IMO on their recent resume

      • When it comes to their super hero properties they usually fail.

  23. Even if there is a sequel, it’s going to focus on Matt (that’s his name, right?) since the other two are dead.

    WHAT THEY SHOULD DO: Matt’s flying around and stuff, going all Indiana Jones-style on what the hell that thing underground was, right? They should introduce other people(mix of teenagers and adults, and of different races– # between 3-5) and they team up to find answers. What the answers are, I myself don’t know, but something new can start here. This is like the origin story for another superhero franchise or something–but completely modern, for this generation. This is an advantage to come up with something as original as possible–considering all the remakes coming up.

    But, that’s just me. I’m hoping the sequel is actually a sequel. If what was said about Fox was true, about wanting the same thing, then Fox is being incredibly stupid.

    • They don’t have to be realy dead. The powers are affecting their mind. The next evolutionary step, produced by these alien powers, could be the seperation of the mind from the body (as a ghost-like entity) and/or they have transferred their mind in someone else.

      You could do something realy cool with this ideas, I believe.

  24. This is my final point on this topic as I am starting to sound like a Fox PR man wich I am not I just think its important that we should be a meritocricty on this stuff and it just pisses me off that there is this group from the fan boy nation who have invented these so called past ills Fox have brought them YEAH WOLVERINE ORIGINS SUCKED we know get over it move on Fox made a bad movie but they have also made some good and a few great ones to !

    • I thought we agreed you were one of three that like Quantum of Solace. I get it. The lone hero route. It’s cool. and cliché hehe j/k

  25. If I want to the see the same movie again I’m going to watch Chronicle. I want to see a proper sequel with said evolution, otherwise Fox will not see the same kind of money again.

  26. Fox is a bunch of idiots. No one wants to see an exact repeat. That’s just stupid, make a sequel, not a remake.

  27. Since I started with my online business I earn $62 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out. Red97Dotcom

  28. They don’t give a no2. This is such a business it hurts. They know people will fork over good money to see a rehash. They know it cause spiderman proved it. Such a shame.