One of the more pleasant surprises of 2012 was director Josh Trank’s low-budget “superhero” film Chronicle. The pic was a hit with audiences and critics alike, and Fox naturally tapped the first film’s scribe Max Landis to start work on a sequel earlier this year. Shortly thereafter Landis teased the return of star Alex Russell in the follow-up, but since then word on Chronicle 2 has been quiet. Now we may have an idea of why, as Landis’ father, filmmaker John Landis, recently revealed that Fox isn’t too keen on what Max Landis has cooked up for the sequel. Hit the jump for more.
The folks over at The Playlist caught up with John Landis before an AMPAS screening of The Wolfman, and the American Werewolf in London director dropped the tidbit about Chronicle 2 when speaking of his own troubles getting offbeat projects off the ground:
“[Max] 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.’ “
I, for one, am shocked—shocked!—that a movie studio wants more of the same in the sequel to a successful original idea. It’s encouraging that Landis didn’t want to rehash the events of Chronicle and is taking the follow-up in a new direction, and at the same time it’s disheartening to see Fox unwilling to take risks with the sequel. Creating a follow-up with the template of “more of the same” makes for boring, predicable movies (ahem, The Hangover Part II).
Hollywood is already averse to original ideas as is, so do we really need to start excising original storylines from sequels now? To rehash the first film in its sequel is to miss the point; the success of Chronicle was due to quality original filmmaking, not because it featured found footage and telekinetic kids.
Hopefully Landis and Fox can work things out and we’ll get a Chronicle 2 that’s a natural evolution from the events of the first film. The studio has been on a roll as of late with rather risky tentpoles like X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and I’d hate to see them bring in another writer to replace Landis on Chronicle 2.