Max Landis Reveals Discarded 'Chronicle' Sequel Storyline

Posted 1:19 PM August 12th, 2013 by Jeff Giles
Max Landis

Max Landis is officially out of the Chronicle business, having been dismissed from the upcoming sequel by Fox execs who were unenthusiastic about his proposed direction for a follow-up to the surprise 2012 found-footage hit about a group of teens whose exposure to an unknown substance leaves them with superpowers. But even if we'll never see the Chronicle sequel Landis wanted to write, we can at least mull over the story outline, which he recently shared via a venting session on Twitter.

Bleeding Cool collected Landis' tweets, which read as follows:


In retrospect, I’m not even sure if fans of the first film would’ve been ready or eager for my second instalment as originally written.

Gone was the aspirational “what would you do,” gone were the pranks and 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, old 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 2…in 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 most frustrating thing is that I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to explain what MOGO was or what he was doing in that cave.


What's ironic about Landis' exile is that he was only trying to build on what he and director Josh Trank had done with Chronicle: Namely, add something new and fresh to a genre often excessively bound by its own conventions. And since Landis and Trank demonstrated their ability to weave compelling narratives without big budgets with the first film, it seems safe to assume they weren't asking for big bucks for Martyr.

What it seems to boil down to is Fox's reluctance to deviate from audiences' expectations -- which is, again, ironic, because Chronicle generated buzz precisely because it took audiences someplace slightly different. This isn't to say Chronicle 2 (or whatever it ends up being called) won't be a worthwhile movie...just that it looks like the studio is approaching it from a disappointingly (but not surprisingly) conservative direction.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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