BySophie Atkinson, writer at
Sophie Atkinson

If you caught and 's low-budget superhero drama, Chronicle and loved it, you're probably aware a sequel's on the cards. Neither the original writer or director are involved in the sequel - Chronicle writer Max Landis did put together a new 'darker' script for the sequel, but this was vetoed by the studio. Fox will have to find a new screenwriter and director to make their 'different direction' for the series a reality, so there'll be more of a wait for the new film, but it's interesting for us journalists, as it leaves Landis free from all professional ties so he can open up about what he wanted to achieve with a sequel.

Recently, Landis was very candid and humble about the whole thing, acknowledging 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'. After all, he didn't really want to make Chronicle 2 at all, but instead wanted to make a sequel called Marty that would center on a completely new character. He outlined it below:

'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 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.'

I'm torn. While obviously a new character is risky territory, it does seem like the right way to go for the project, since the original film didn't leave a lot of ends untied, plus not all of the characters survived to the end of the film. Equally, you can understand Fox's perspective – when a film does as well as Chronicle (it made ten times what was spent on it), it's tempting to just stick to the same formula.

Landis' dad, the successful writer/director John Landis (An American Werewolf In London) offered an interesting perspective on the matter when interviewed last year. He reported that his son had offered Fox an 'evolution' of the story and the studio's response had been along the lines of 'No, we want Chronicle again!'

Understandable, yes, but complicated to achieve. Since the teens of Chronicle gained their superpowers by stumbling across a mysterious crystal that fell to earth, a sequel along the same lines would have to explain how other people had gained the same powers. Landis himself figured he'd thrashed this out via machine-based superpowers (like in Iron Man, for example):

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

That does sound pretty great. Do you think Fox should have gambled on Landis' vision for the sequel or are they right to stick to what worked for the first film? Let me know below.


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