When a film comes out that feels fresh, original and exciting and is a surprise success, the natural response (from Hollywood producers, at least) is to say, “Let’s make it again!” Such was the case with Josh Trank’s found footage superhero movie Chronicle, the low-budget box office hit that inspired producer Michael Bay to go looking for his very own movie with a similar flavor.
What Bay found was a script for a movie called Almanac, penned by Paranormal Activity 5 duo Andrew Stark and Jason Pagan, which told the story of a group of teens who find the disparate parts for a time machine and decide to piece them together. Paramount Pictures and Platinum Dunes immediately bought the script and began “aggressively and swiftly” getting it into production.
A little over a year later, a trailer for Welcome to Yesterday (the title that came to replace Almanac) has arrived. Starring Jonny Weston (John Dies at the End), Ginny Gardner (Glee), Sam Lerner (Suburgatory) and Allen Evangelista (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as its band of irresponsible time travelers, Welcome to Yesterday is the feature directorial debut of Dean Israelite, the cousin of Jonathan Liebesman (who’s directing the Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot).
It looks like Welcome to Yesterday will tap into the Chronicle vibe of wish fulfilment, with its unimaginative teens using the machine to pass chemistry tests and win the lottery, but it’s hard to tell whether the found footage format actually suited the script or whether it was simply used because it happens to be in vogue right now. It also seems like the actual science of the time travel has been glossed over a little, making the machine a kind of tech equivalent of Chronicle‘s magic space rock.
All in all, this trailer is a little underwhelming, but Welcome to Yesterday could easily turn out to be a watchable Chronicle knock-off. Or if that doesn’t appeal, there’s always Chronicle 2.
Welcome to Yesterday will open in theaters on February 28th, 2014.
Source: Paramount Pictures