Max Landis Reveals Original Plot for ‘Chronicle 2′ That Fox Turned Down

Published 11 months ago by

chronicle 2 screenwriter max landis Max Landis Reveals Original Plot for Chronicle 2 That Fox Turned Down

Those who enjoyed Max Landis and Josh Trank’s low-budget found footage superhero drama Chronicle will probably already know by now that, though Twentieth Century Fox is planning to make Chronicle 2, the director and writer behind the original won’t be involved at all. Since Chronicle grossed ten times its original budget at the box office, there seems little doubt that a sequel is still on the cards, but the studio has vetoed Landis’ “darker” script for it.

This leaves Fox wanting for a new screenwriter and director to bring their “different direction” for the series to life, but luckily it also leaves Landis free from all professional obligation to keep quiet about what he wanted to do in the sequel. Since his version of Chronicle 2 has apparently hit a permanent roadblock, Landis has opened up a little about what we’re missing out on.

Speaking to his fans on Twitter, Landis revealed that he didn’t really want to make Chronicle 2 at all, but instead wanted to make a sequel called Martyr that focused on a new and entirely different character. The screenwriter admitted that, “in retrospect, I’m not even sure if fans of the first film would’ve been ready or eager for my second installment as originally written,” but nonetheless outlined the themes that he’d intended to explore in the next chapter of the Chronicle story:

“Gone was the aspirational ‘what would you do,’ gone were the pranks and the bromance, gone were lovely tragic Andrew and hopeful, bright Steve. In their place was a dark, frustratingly unblinking stare into a complicated world that posed the question is it worth it to be a hero, told from the point of view of a heartbroken and insane woman who would martyr herself to the cause of being the world’s first villain.

“It was, in my estimation, a sequel that elaborated on the ideas and situations from the first to create a different genre of movie. In the best of worlds, in my optimistic but wildly prejudiced eyes, this could make it an Aliens, a Terminator 2… in the worst a Grease 2. So, at the end of the day, maybe it’s better that Martyr never saw the light of day. Sad I didn’t get to do some of my other versions. The multi-movie low [budget] Chronicle-based found footage superhero universe culminating in an Avengers type team up was a real good one.”

A fresh start with the focus on a new character might have been just what Chronicle needed in a sequel, since the original film’s story was wrapped up quite neatly and most of the principal cast (comic book style resurrections notwithstanding) didn’t make it all the way to the end credits. Somewhat predictably, Fox was not happy at the idea of leaving the successful first film behind and starting out on fresh, potentially risky, ground. Landis’ father, famed writer and director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), said in an interview last year that his son had offered Fox an “evolution” of the story, and the studio’s response had been, “No, we want Chronicle again!

chronicle 2 max landis.jgp  Max Landis Reveals Original Plot for Chronicle 2 That Fox Turned Down

Since the lucky (or unlucky?) teens of Chronicle received their powers through something of a fluke, discovering a mysterious crystal that had apparently fallen to earth, the continuation of the series would likely necessitate an explanation of how other people acquired similar powers. Interestingly, Landis suggested that he’d had gadget-based superpowers along the lines of Iron Man or Pacific Rim in mind:

“Martyr also had two pretty cool robot suits in it. Sorta hyper realistic Iron Man stuff. Magnetic flight, sonic weaponry. Cool, cool stuff.”

The tweets offer a rather fascinating glimpse into what Landis had originally planned for his follow-up(s) to Chronicle: a model similar to the Marvel cinematic universe, but done on a much smaller budget with a realist aesthetic and sticking with found footage as the means of telling stories. Perhaps somewhere along the line Matt could have teamed up with the protagonist of Martyr, or gone up against her with an assembled team of amateur superheroes. It’s a concept that comes with both significant challenges and a lot of potential, but it looks like it may remain nothing more than a pipe dream.

It’s a shame, since if there’s one place where it’s less risky to take risks, it’s in low-budget ventures. After all, this summer’s biggest flop, The Lone Ranger, was considered to be a fairly safe bet before it lost Disney $190 million, but such a loss wouldn’t have been possible on a film with a $12 million production budget. Fox might have benefited from simply handing Trank and Landis their modest financing and trusting the filmmaker’s vision, however dark.

Do you like the sound of Martyr and Landis’ low-budget superhero universe, or are you interested to see Chronicle 2 fall into new hands?

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Chronicle 2 doesn’t yet have a release date. Nor does it have a director, a script, any cast members or even a screenwriter (that we know of), but we’ll keep you updated on any further developments.

Source: Max Landis (via THR)

TAGS: chronicle, chronicle 2

71 Comments

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  1. I would love to read a graphic novel( or even a traditional novel) of this story told through the eyes of the Martyr. This is right up my alley at the basic level. The more sci-fi elements of the suit, I dunno. but the idea of the Martyr herself? definitely.

  2. I like the original director and editor!! Fox! Don’t be stupid!! Pleas keep the dark style

  3. I really enjoyed Chronicle because of how different it was from every other film. Sure, it may follow a basic narrative structure that can be found in other films but, as the saying goes, there are no new stories, only new ways of telling them. I enjoyed Chronicle because of the way it told the story.
    I think that too many films nowadays are being drawn out with sequels and sequels of sequels. As such, it would be quite refreshing to have a ‘sister film’ that focused on a different character.
    Personally I enjoy the ‘dark’ films and (although I think some strong links to the original film are needed) I believe that fox has thrown away some good stuff here.
    What really gets me is, what does fox have to lose?!

  4. I would love to see a Chronicle 2 with Matt taking up the search for the origin of his power and documenting it with a video camera as a homage to Andrew.

    • I would definitely rather see that than Martyr. i think the whole ‘I’ll become the villain to unite the world’ trope is naive. The reasons for the dissension between countries and cultures wouldn’t be cured by a common enemy. The way by which you overcome that obstacle would just become another problem to argue about.

  5. Fox, run by morons for morons.

    As usual, buy in quality and then squash any further development.

    Let’s just remake films that don’t need remaking and then bomb that way instead.

  6. perm do both

  7. This potential but now dead sequel would have been promising but yes, risky. If you take one look at Breaking Bad, you’d know how successful an idea of a skillful but conflicted villain could be. However, with the elements of sonic weaponry, a female antihero (Skyler anyone?), and ambiguous power origins, I can’t say with confidence that the new movie would be a crowd pleaser.

    • I am so grossed out right now by your referring to Skyler as an “antihero.”

  8. I agree with the general sentiment as everyone else who’s posted here. I too was surprised at how much I enjoyed the first Chronicle and have seen it a number of times. Consequently I was very much in anticipation for the sequel… and then I read this article. Damn fox for pushing Landis out, did they not notice that the original film was very much dark? I can’t say I care for the idea of any iron man type inclusions in Landis’ idea. Too bad what we’ll probably end up getting is the same kind of crappy sequels to original movie ideas that Hollywood has been churning out since the millennial kids have had money to spend at the movies.

  9. The first Chronicle was amazing why would you make martyr . When you have matt. You should have Matt in the future married with kids and when they turned 17 they would develop matts powers not knowing where they got them from. The two boys wouldnt tell there parents because they were afraid. After there mom being killed by a cop accedently they went on a rampage tearing there city apart. Matt telling them were they got there powers from then has to stop them from killing the innocent and in the end matt has killed one of his and the other gets away, shocked at what he just saw matt finds his son and its a epic between them but all of asudden matt takes his sun powers not knowing they were gone and kills him the end.

  10. I think (only my opinion) that in Chronicle 2, they should bring Andrew back and let him have his revenge. I love Andrew and it sucked the way he met his end. I think the Apex Predator should have a chance to let all those locked up feelings out, and maybe potentially find a girl that can save him from himself. Just my idea but I feel Andrew got the short end of the stick. If your going to make a movie sequel why go off the original movie and make a completely different story line with new characters. Then it not a sequel. Its a new movie with the same type of heart and “powers”.

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