‘Chronicle 2′: Max Landis Off as Writer; Fox Planning a ‘Different Direction’

Published 2 years ago by

chronicle 2 screenwriter max landis Chronicle 2: Max Landis Off as Writer; Fox Planning a Different Direction

Chronicle is quite the unique movie specimen, which is something that becomes all the more obvious when you examine the film’s individual components. That includes a Carrie-like exploration of teen angst, references to superhero and comic book pop culture, and a found-footage angle that offers built-in commentary about the generation raised on social media/digital-age tech. For those reasons, a sequel feels like an iffy proposition – from a creative perspective, anyway.

Director Josh Trank once admitted that he was nervous about the idea of making a Chronicle 2, so it didn’t come as a huge surprise when he took a pass (to make the Fantastic Four reboot instead). Early buzz is that development on the sequel hasn’t been a walk in the park either, judging by semi-contradictory claims made by screenwriter Max Landis – who also penned the first movie – and his father, filmmaker Jon Landis, about how receptive (or not) Fox heads are to the current script draft.

We now have an update on the situation, thanks to Max Landis (via Twitter):

Landis later added that he’s been off Chronicle 2 for a few months now, adding that Fox “had a different direction they wanted to take the series.” Ironically, that gels more with the screenwriter’s father’s previous claim – that Fox executives want a sequel in the vein of the original film, not “the evolution” featured in his son’s script – which the younger Landis later denied, when he said that one of the bigger issues was the “really dark” nature of his Chronicle 2 screenplay. To be fair, it’s not clear yet if Fox wants Chronicle 2 to bear a close resemblance to the structure and format of its predecessor, or has something else in mind (though, we’d be willing to bet on the former being the case).

Chronicle movie 2012 trailer clips  Chronicle 2: Max Landis Off as Writer; Fox Planning a Different Direction

That dilemma is not easy to resolve either, as was discussed by the Screen Rant Underground Podcast crew last year: do you continue to move the series forward with installments that directly attempt to recreate the horror/beauty of the original film (albeit, with a similar story/characters), spinoff the narrative by picking up the dangling plot threads from the first Chronicle – or, just leave it as is, a one-shot perfect storm of artistic collaboration (resulting in a special gem of a film)?

Well, Chronicle grossed $126 million worldwide on a $12 million budget, so there is no reason to doubt that Fox will make a strong push to make the sequel become a reality. Case in point: Max Landis said on Twitter that Fox has already hired new writers for Chronicle 2, and it shouldn’t be long before an official announcement in made (re: who’s developing the sequel’s script now).

What Chronicle 2 approach sounds like the best option to you? Has your interest waned in the sequel, now that neither the original film’s director nor screenwriter is involved?


We expect to have new information to provide about Chronicle 2 in the foreseeable future (including, who the new writers are), so keep your eyes peeled for another update sooner, rather than later.

Source: Max Landis

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  1. Fox you are screwing yourself on this one. Give Landis the opportunity. He created this.

  2. They really don’t need to make a Chronicle 2. It was a self contained movie that was not created to continue on as a series. This is just plain greed.

    • +1

    • agreed

  3. This is nothing new for Fox. Just look at what they did to the X-Men for a reference.

    • Chronicle 2 will now star Hugh Jackman as Wolverine!

      • That’s there ‘Different Direction’

        • their*

  4. Why why why does the business side never trust the creative minds that made them a profit in the first place?

  5. Doesn’t need sequel at all. I mean I would love to find out what happened to Matt after he left the camera in Tibet, but not enough to have Fox ruin the movie.

  6. They should just stick with NOT ruining the original film. If the screenwriter Landis had a great approach to making a sequel work, on a fairly small budget (again) then why does Fox need to put their greedy corporate hands in the un-tanted fish-bowl?

    No wonder why both Josh and Max decided to leave the project.
    The darker tone, and more of a milestone sequel that Max had was probably going to be a run-away hit like the original, and the studio probably hated his approach because it didn’t mirror that of it’s predossesor.

    Fox needs to let the creative minds work their magic, and not have such a strong hold on their studios’ films. Yes, there may be films that need guidance and direction from the studio, but if a film is successful, they need to keep their medaphorical hands out of the damn cookie jar.

    Case in-point: The way Seth Rogan said that TGH was a nightmare, and that the team of creatives over a whateverstudiodistributedit didn’t look at the 50 MILLION dollar Vfx but NEEDED say in how the dialogue was spoken. Travisty.

    I say don’t make a sequel to an original film that never asked for a sequel to begin with. There, I said it.

  7. “Different direction”? That sounds a lot like the creative process of blair witch 2. Chronicle was awesome, leave it that way. Dont ruin it with a bad sequel behind it.

  8. The sequel will be a let down. None of the original writers? lol

  9. I still haven’t seen Chronicle but i really want to i hear its fantastic but based on descriptions and trailers that i have seen for the first one it really doesn’t sound like a sequel would work to me. I think a sequel needs to be about the same journey that the first film had and introduce a new lesson to be learned by the character and focus on the characters struggle learning that lesson, i don’t know if they can do that with this film based on what i’ve heard about it.

  10. I’d love to see what Landis had in mind, hope some script or outline of what he wanted will get leaked online, but as for this possible sequel not being allowed to creative i think is gross and is totally something Fox would do.

    • Same, I would love to see Landis’s script for the sequel.

  11. I was ok with a sequel without Trank but with Landis writing, but without them both my interest level is about Zero.

  12. Que rehash with new characters that are basically the same person and no plot that adds to this lore or tell us what that crystal is in 3…2…

  13. Why make a sequel if 2/3 of the main characters died ?
    What else is there to tell ?

    • Whats that crystal? Were did it come from? Was that the only one or were there more? There’s your answer.

      • the crystal wasn’t the focal point of the original movie though. it was just a plot device to set up the angry-teen-goes-postal drama. I really don’t think that there’s any more story to tell, Fox needs to just leave it alone.

        • A plot device yes but It’s something that shouldn’t be ignored. Anything can gain a story if you are willing to give it a shot. Restricting to “There is nothing to tell. It’s only a plot device.” is a terrible mind set for story telling.

          • you’re right, a good story teller can make compelling narrative out of almost anything. i just think it would be weird to focus on the origins of the crystal and stuff when that was pretty much completely ignored in the original film.

    • A possible plot may be the hunt of Russell’s character? Too generic I know but I’m sure that Landis would’ve come up with something good.

  14. 3 new teens, girls, will find the mysterious Crystal orb thing and we’ll get a Dirty Little Liars with superpowers, I’m guessing.
    I really hope Landis’s script gets leaked. Would love to see what could’ve been…like Alien 3

    • *Pretty Little Liars

      • Oh. Sorry. Never actually seen it. Would it be good if they had powers? Because that’s what Fox is most likely giving us

  15. I follow Max Landis very closely. He’s always had a sequel to Chronicle in mind, even as he was writing the first. It’s a damn shame that he’s left the project, considering he was super excited to get the ball rolling on Chronicle 2. The studio execs are so so stupid for trying to take HIS baby and change it for whatever reason. I have 100% faith in everything that Max does, so you can bet I’ll be staying far far away from Chronicle 2.

    Ah well, Max has a lot of projects on his plate right now, and I’m looking forward to them all.
    In Max we trust!

  16. Chronicle was brilliant so let the team that made that film do what they think is right with the sequel. Why would you pass on a script that is an evolution of the first movie and instead try to make the same type of movie for the sequel? It makes no sense to me, this movie is starting to sound more and more useless every bit of news released.

  17. Doesn’t need a sequel, but if there’s going to be one then Landis’s dark approach at it should be the structure. To be honest it was that dark atmosphere that I enjoyed the most about Chronicle.

  18. without landis or trank working on this a sequel will not get any of my money. whose with me in boycotting this unless the original creators are the ones who work on it?

  19. I’m guess Fox’s approach is the exact same movie, just a different group of people find the object and gain superpowers.

  20. No Landis? No Trank? (And also presumably no Dane DeHaan or Michael B. Jordan?) No thank you.

  21. It would be cool if Matt was trying to live under the radar, but being forced to leave wherever he’s living once he’s forced to use his powers publicly to save someone.
    He begins getting bloody noses again, being summoned by the Crystal itself, which is now in the government’s hands. He forms a psychic bond with the Crystal itself, feeling it’s pain whenever they perform tests on it. When he tried to “save” it, he discovers there are agents with powers now, but Matt has one major advantage: the Crystal itself is his ally, fueling him…but this is also costing him his humanity. Soon Matt must decide if the Crystal is friend or foe; it’s he just an instrument for its devious plans?

  22. If its the same story but new characters leave it alone but if it is a continuation of the films climax then I can honest say I’m all for it

  23. They’ll find some ridiculous way to bring Andrew back to life, I’m sure

  24. Sounds like Fox are purely in it for the money and want to try and catch lightning in a bottle by having a second movie. The first movie works very well as a self-contained, one-off and therefore should be left alone. However, the big thing in Hollywood at the moment is “franchise”.

    “We must have a franchise that we can fall back on/milk for all it’s worth to stop us actually trying to be creative and bring original characters and stories to life”.

    Look at Highlander. There really should only have been one (see what I did there?). However we have an awful sequel that totally ruins the mystique and groundwork laid out in the first one. The third one tried to make amends but just ended up making things worse. The tv series was good though. (must confess I haven’t seen Endgame so can’t comment).

    My point is this – sometimes it’s best to let movies have their one shining moment and leave them alone. I;m sure we can all name movies that could be put in this category but unfortunately weren’t.

    Yes it made a shitload of money on a tiny budget. However, don’t let greed blind you. However, the “powers-that-be” will rarely see eye-to-eye with the creative minds that dream up these stories; they interfere and think they know best as to what the audience wants to see according to some mathematical demographic chart. However, as the old saying goes, you can’t please all the people all the time (and it’s a mistake to try). Let the creative minds do their job (writing and directing). Suits should sit back and stop interfering. If they want to contribute something, pick up a pen and write a script.

    Ok – rant over. (my apologies. just got back from the cinema after watching pacific rim and my hayfever tablets are making me feel a little spacey-wacey)

  25. Didn’t even think it needed a sequel in the first place, so I wasn’t sold even when Landis was on the project… but now that he’s gone, I take that as a red flag and I have no good expectations left for this. Not unless we hear more positive news.

  26. Not that anyone cares what I think, but I think it would be interesting to do a Jason Bourne, Bruce Banner-like storyline, where Matt’s going across Europe or middle-america, hiding from the world, saving those who need saving, while a subplot is secretly his trying to discover what the crystal was. I’d drop the found footage format entirely, shoot it like the parts of Man of Steel where he’s wandering all alone, hitchhiking, etc. The story could be shown from a very 3rd person perspective, kind of as if there wasn’t even a first one, with Matt barely talking unless there are other people around. he gets caught by the government halfway through, then after that escapes, finds that blonde chick from the first, and runs away again. etc. etc. etc.

  27. IF they need to make a squeal (and I don’t think they need to) then at least bring back the original creative force behind the first one. These people don’t care about the film.

  28. I would like to see a sequel, mostly to know what goes on with Matt, but if Fox tries to take this in their direction—instead of the CREATOR’S approach—then screw it. Fox is unbelievably annoying. Don’t get in creativity’s way.