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Last month, screenwriter Max Landis confirmed on Twitter that he was no longer involved with the sequel to his Chronicle, saying that the movie was “still probably happening, just not with my involvement as of now,” because “Fox had a different direction they wanted to take the series.” A different direction from what? This weekend, Landis revealed what he’d originally planned of the found-footage follow-up.
Writing 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,” Landis tweeted that his sequel veered away from expectations.
“Gone was the aspirational ‘what would you do,’ gone were the pranks and the bromance, gone were lovely tragic Andrew and hopeful, bright Steve,” he explained. “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,” he continued. “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 multi-movie [low-budget] Chronicle-based found-footage superhero universe culminating in an Avengers type team up was a real good one.”
Last year, Landis’ father, much-loved genre moviemaker John Landis revealed in an interview that Fox didn’t like the “Martyr” idea. “[Max] wrote a sequel, and it’s amazing, and the studio read it and said, ‘We want Chronicle again!’,” the director said. “He said, ‘No, this is the sequel, it’s the evolution,’ and they said, ‘No, we want that movie again!’ “
In April this year, Max Landis told IGN “My father is not involved in Chronicle 2. He doesn’t know the process. It was not his place to say that. … They liked my script. It’s just a really dark script. The question is more of, ‘How do we all compromise to get something we want?’ And that’s an incredibly slow process.”
Whether it was part of the compromise or not, at least Landis’ unmade “Martyr” script would have appealed to the Iron Man/Pacific Rim demographic. He added, after his initial explanation of what the movie was about, “Martyr also had two pretty cool robot suits in it. Sorta hyper realistic iron man stuff. Magnetic flight, sonic weaponry. Cool, cool stuff.” Somewhere, some comic company and/or movie studio is working out how to convince Landis to repurpose the script for them.
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