Banking on the success of the found-footage superhero film, Chronicle, word has it that Sony is looking to the film’s director, Josh Trank, to helm its Spider-Man spin-off, Venom. With the studio’s The Amazing Spider-Man reboot swinging into theaters on July 3rd, perhaps there’s room for the psychotic symbiotic to be featured as a main antagonist in an upcoming film, rather than the sidenote he became in 2007′s Spider-Man 3, played by Topher Grace. Venom, an alien symbiotic life form that bonds with its host for survival, has been a mainstay in the world of Marvel nemeses and could further open up the Spider-Man storyline if the creative team chose to go in that direction. Being a big fan of Trank’s work on Chronicle, I’d be very interested to see what he could do with a big budget superhero flick. Hit the jump for more on Venom.
by Jason Barr Posted: February 4th, 2012 at 10:33 am
This past week brought us a story that is near and dear to me. While I briefly give my own thoughts regarding DC Comics’ Watchmen prequel comic series after the jump, I want to use the “Top 5′s” opening paragraph space to invite readers to voice/type their own opinions on the announcement in the comments section. As a fervent fan of the series, I’m always interested to hear fellow fans’ take on Watchmen adaptations, prequels, and the like. So, with that said, what do you think? Does the creative talent involved interest you? Is it the best idea ever? The worst? Somewhere in between? Sound off in the comments.
In addition to DC’s Before Watchmen announcement, this installment of the “Top 5″ includes interviews with the cast and director of superhero/found-footage pic Chronicle, a “What If?” look at a 16-Bit Breaking Bad RPG, ten things to know about Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and Sundance 2012 video interviews with Bradley Cooper, Paul Dano and more. A brief recap and link to each follows after the jump.
The cinéma vérité style can easily go astray. It can be used more as a lazy way to put the viewer closer to the action without worrying about thoughtful cinematography or good performances. Chronicle avoids the pitfalls by coming up with a good reason why its story should take a found-footage approach instead of a half-assed reason why a character should carry around a camera. Rather than throw non-actors into the fray for “raw” performances (i.e. sloppy), the film places its trust in lead actors who give good performances. There are times when the movie can no longer hold its fake documentary conceit together and at the climax it loses the character drama in favor of a big action scene, but Chronicle manages to be not only a good found-footage movie, but a good movie period.
by Tommy Cook Posted: January 30th, 2012 at 11:00 am
On the surface, it may be easy to dismiss Josh Trank’s debut Chronicle as little more than a get-rich-quick mishmash of the two most popular genres of the moment (superhero & found footage flicks); but underneath it’s admittedly franchise friendly exterior, Chronicle seems as fatigued with the inundation of shaky cams and male (always male) heroics as there are films prescribed to the genres. Many critics have bemoaned the use of the found footage conceit in Chronicle, complaining that the movie could exist without and would be better if played “straight”, but these reviewers seem to miss that their objections are exactly the point (the camera being rendered moot about midway through as a meta-textual dismissal of the entire genre). When the picture climaxes literally with a cacophony of cameras and multi-POVs, it’s as if Trank’s putting the entirety of “recorded” films on notice. Just because you shake the camera or shoot a bunch of footage out of focus or chop people’s heads out of frame, doesn’t make your film more “realistic” or a descendent of Cinema Verite; all it means (Chronicle and by proxy Trank implies) – is that you’re a really shitty cinematographer.
In the following interview, director Josh Trank discusses Chronicle’s variations from the typical found footage film, rejects Nietzschean “Superman” philosophy and talks about those pesky Fantastic Four rumors. Hit the jump to watch.
We’ve been provided with four clips and nine images from the upcoming superhero found footage film Chronicle to share with our readers. The story centers on three high school students who are endowed with superhuman powers after being exposed to an unknown substance in an underground lair. The pic chronicles what happens when some of the most irresponsible human beings on the planet—teenagers—are given incredible abilities. Buzz for the film has been very positive, and you can read our preview footage report and interview with the film’s director, Josh Trank, here. In fact, 20th Century Fox is apparently so pleased with the finished product that Trank is their number one choice to direct the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot.
Hit the jump to check out the clips and images. The film stars Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan, and Alex Russell and it was written by Max Landis. Chronicle opens February 3rd, 2012.
As the superhero franchise boom shows no signs of slowing down, 20th Century Fox is looking to get moving on their Fantastic Four reboot. We knew the reboot was coming, as Fox is in danger of losing the property if they don’t produce a Fantastic Four film every few years. Now the studio has apparently honed in on their choice for the film’s director: Josh Trank. The director is set to make his feature debut with the found footage superhero movie Chronicle, which has been generating a good deal of buzz ever since the first trailer debuted online. The studio won’t make a final decision on Trank until after seeing how Chronicle fares once it hits theaters, but Variety says insiders at Fox are very keen on the young director. Hit the jump for more.
The “found footage” movie that made its way into two of our “Most Anticipated” lists is beginning to rev up its marketing engine. Chronicle, which debuted its first trailer back in October, recently released two clips entitled “The Discovery” and “The Baseball Test.” The first clip is essentially a teaser about how three teenagers acquire telekinesis and other superpowers, but it does a nice job of setting up the dynamic among them. The second clip features the guys testing out their new found powers and contains hilarious moments of schadenfreude; it also happens to give nice foreshadowing in a subtle, yet unnerving performance by Dane DeHaan (True Blood). Unfortunately, the poor quality of the CG baseball doesn’t bode well for the rest of the film. Hit the jump to check out the clips and a new poster for Chronicle.
by Tommy Cook Posted: January 6th, 2012 at 9:59 am
If I was telekinetic, I would probably just sit in a comfy reclining chair and drink hot cocoa and have every single conversation there –in my chair- forcing any who wanted to speak with me to come within talking distance and I’d probably win every conversation because if I didn’t or the other disagreed with me, I’d force him/her into the corner of my chair-room, until they nodded in sycophantic agreement. I’d be the super-villain, I oh so wish I was. That and I would scare small children by floating stuffed teddy bears off the aisles of shelves in front of their innocent, terrified faces. So imagine my chagrin – to see such a scene in the upcoming douchebags-get-superpowers cum found footage flick Chronicle (the excellent trailer to which can be found here).
The film exemplifies just what happens when the least responsible people in the world (i.e. teenagers) get powers they are more than ill suited for. Chronicle, for those unfamiliar, concerns three high school students, who after being exposed to something in an underground lair suddenly have the ability to move cars, people, baseballs, and (most importantly) teddy bears by only the far recesses of their mind. To say they abuse these powers would be putting it mildly. Girls’ skirts are blown up alla Marilyn Monroe, children are frightened via teddies, cars demolished, innocents grievously injured, Seattle destroyed (poor Space Needle) etc… At the 20th Century Fox lot, select footage (about eighteen or so minutes) from the film was shown and an impromptu interview with the film’s director Josh Trank conducted. For a full description of the footage and highlights from the proceeding interview, hit the jump.
With less than two weeks left in 2011, it’s time to set our sights on movies that will be opening in 2012. Since the coming year is releasing a ton of big budget movies that will dominate media coverage, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight some of the lesser known fare that will be gracing the screens over the next twelve months. We’ve got some new posters that will be a first look at these projects for some of you and a gentle reminder for others. First up is the superhero “found footage” thriller Chronicle by director Josh Trank (The Kill Point). Trank’s cinematic directorial debut features three teenagers who become imbued with superpowers and how those abilities darken their lives. Next, from David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method) comes Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson (Twilight). The adaptation of the Don DeLillo’s novel by the same name follows a young billionaire (Pattinson) as his limo traverses Manhattan in search of a haircut (not making this up). Finally, the animated Rise of the Guardians, which has the most charming poster in my opinion, is based off of the “Guardians of Childhood” book series by William Joyce and features childhood legends teaming up to take on the Boogeyman. Hit the jump to check out the posters.
The first trailer for the found-footage superhero pic Chronicle has gone online. The film follows three teenagers who develop superpowers after being exposed to a mysterious substance. The film is shot documentary style, and follows the boys as they mess around with their newfound abilities. However, things go awry when one of the teenagers take things too far. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of the found-footage genre in the first place, so I’m not entirely sold on the project. It has a cool concept, but looks like it could flounder much the same as Cloverfield did when it got into the actual story. Furthermore, it looks like the kids are filming with an ARRI Alexa which is an extremely expensive camera to give to teenagers.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Directed by Josh Trank (Big Fan) the film stars Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan, and Alex Russell. Chronicle opens February 3rd, 2012.
20th Century Fox has announced release dates for its upcoming films This Means War and Chronicle. According to Box Office Mojo, This Means War is set for February 17, 2012. Directed by McG, the film is an action-romantic-comedy that stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as former black-ops agents who go to war with each other when the fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). The other films currently set for the Presidents’ Day weekend are Ghost Rider 2 and Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty which was written and produced by Hayao Miyazaki.
As for Chronicle, the film recently cast Dane DeHaan (In Treatment) as one of three teenagers who develop superpowers after they’re exposed to a mysterious substance. The film is the feature debut of Josh Trank and comes from a script by Max Landis (Masters of Horror). Chronicle is slated for February 3, 2012, and currently has no competition at that date.
Dane DeHaan (In Treatment) has signed on to star in Chronicle, a supernatural drama set up at 20th Century Fox. Details are mostly under wraps, but per Variety, the story centers on “three Portland teens after they develop powers from exposure to a mysterious substance.” As a homer for the Pacific Northwest and sucker for the mysterious substance-as-catalyst, pencil me in for a ticket opening weekend.
Josh Trank (The Kill Point) will make his feature directorial debut with John Davis and Adam Schroeder producing. The screenplay was written by Max Landis, who previously scripted episodes of the horror anthology series Masters of Horror and Fear Itself. DeHaan was recently cast opposite Shia LaBeuof and Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain in John Hillcoat’s adaptation of The Wettest County in the World.
20th Century Fox is in talks to pick up a sci-fi spec script from Max Landis, son of writer/director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, the upcoming Burke and Hare). Per Heat Vision, the film “focuses on the lives of three Portland teens that become exposed to a mysterious substance in the woods, and, as a result, begin to develop incredible powers. They work together to hone their skills for fun, until personal and family problems begin to turn them against one another,” and will be told using a hand-held documentary style. Max Landis’ previous writing credits include episodes of the horror series Masters of Horror and Fear Itself.
Josh Trank (who edited the excellent Big Fan starring Patton Oswalt) is attached to make his feature directorial debut on the project. Like Landis, Trank is also the son of a respected Hollywood director. Trank’s father, Richard Trank, won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 1997 for The Long Way Home.