John Landis Says Fox Isn’t Thrilled with Max Landis’ Script for CHRONICLE 2, Wants More of the Same

     October 10, 2012


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. 

max-landis-chronicle-2-sequelThe 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.


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  • MattMurdock

    “Original idea”? Have you not seen AKIRA?
    I loved Chronicle, but it’s a pretty shameless copy.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, it’s the live action Akira movie that nobody expected. Hollywood has been trying to make a live action Akira movie and Josh Trank just did it amazingly

      • Ben

        Except Akira is far more convoluted and puts more work into explaining things than Chronicle does. What Akira did with it’s characters is far from original, so just because there are similarities with character development and telekinesis, doesn’t make Chronicle a copy.

        I love Akira btw.

    • Romsy

      Yeah, totally the same. In Akira all the friends got powers…oh wait no. But in Chronicle there was a political backdrop that set all the events in motion…oh wait no. But in Akira it was all found footage…oh wait no. But in Chronicle they all drove motorcycles and were delinquents…oh wait no. But in Akira Tetsuo’s relationship with his father and dying mother are the linchpin to his character…oh wait no. But in Chronicle a little creepy old kid gave Andrew his powers… oh wait no. But in Akira Tetsuo wanted to travel to Tibet… oh wait no. But in Chronicle there was a mysterious character Andrew was looking for because he wanted answers about what he was becoming that ended up being a bunch of organs in jars… oh wait no.

      Just because a character got powers and was in scrubs with bandages at some point doesn’t make it a “shameless copy”. But nice job regurgitating what fanboys have been bitching about on the internet for the past year.

      • Bob

        Your comment was totally off the mark… Oh wait no! Your comment was hilarious and spot on!! Thanks for the chuckles… :)

    • Goop

      By original, I’m sure they mean not a directly adapted, or rebooted, or remade idea. I think it’d be pretty hard to argue that any idea is “original”. Rian Johnson mentioned that Looper had a touch of Akira as well, that doesn’t make Looper a complete ripoff. Creative works draw from other things. To rehash the same storyline within the same movie-verse would be truly shameless.

    • Alex

      You know what? Let’s just stop making movies then. Because every movie borrows something from movies before it. It’s impossible not to.

    • sense 11

      Outside the Geek world, nobody knows what Akira is

      • tinypony

        What’s Akira?

  • MattMurdock

    \"Original idea\"? Have you not seen AKIRA?
    I loved Chronicle, but it\’s a pretty shameless copy.

  • David

    I found this film weak in many ways, most notably due to the fact that the film had a problem nailing down who main character was. Also, I found plot predictable -who could not guess the black dude was going to die?

    While Dane Dehaan\’s performance was solid, the character was never fully defined, insomuch as once again, the internal logic of film slipped off the rails, devolving into paint-by-number film making, hitting all the color points on the great wheel of Act 3.

    As for FOX wanting the same script, with a weekend won by Taken 2 -which is essentially the same film as the first one- and now a third one, which will re-hash it again, are we not shocked, dismayed that the studio would rather re-work the first film instead of taking it in the next evolutionary step?

  • jack

    i think you people have no idea what “shameless copy” means….if it’s a shameless copy then where is the dystopian futre, the motorcycle gangs, the army hunting them down, the government research facility, etc. There are so many things different that it can’t be a shameless copy….yea it borrows a couple ideas, but the main story is completely different

  • sense 11

    I truly hope they let him make the progression film, not a damn rehash like Taken 2

  • stylus59

    Typical for Fox for sequel/franchise films. Zero creative control for filmmakers.

  • Ben

    Except Akira is far more convoluted and puts more work into explaining things than Chronicle does. What Akira did with it\’s characters is far from original, so just because there are similarities with character development and telekinesis, doesn\’t make Chronicle a copy.

    I love Akira btw.

    Can’t we be happy we got a movie like this, rather than always finding some reason to rip on it?

  • seth.iamfilms

    I think this is more on all of us as mini whole of Urth, for constantly supporting and allowing each other to support these piles of drudging rehashed minutia.

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