Deadline has just broke the news that Max Landis is currently penning a followup to his superpowered movie, Chronicle, which was not only a critical success but has already earned $105 million worldwide, despite only costing $12 million to make. This comes just a day after his directing partner, Josh Trank was rumoured to be tapped for a proposed Venom film.
Both guys are clearly very talented and deserve all their good fortune. So then why am I not that excited by this sequel news?
Clearly, I enjoyed the telekinetic hell out of Chronicle. Its very grounded take on the “kids with superpowers” tale was refreshing and exciting. Trank showed a great eye for both the quieter and more raucous moments, while Landis’ script sizzled.
My concern is with where the hell they could take the film after its pretty definitive ending, without either rehashing the same ground or relying on some Scooby Doo styled plot mechanics.
What do I mean? Well for that we need to look back at Chronicle, so…
[SPOILER WARNING IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN CHRONICLE YET!]
[ALSO, WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T YOU SEEN CHRONICLE YET? DON'T YOU LIKE GOOD THINGS?]
Let’s start with the most glaring problem: Nearly everybody important in the film came down with an acute case of death.
Despite the fact that in the world of comics – from which this film takes a lot of inspiration – the afterlife pretty much has a revolving door on it, I seriously don’t think Landis wants to do a “Ah ha! I wasn’t dead this entire time, you kooky kids!” routine. Especially after he became a household name (hey, geeks have households too!) for completely ripping to shreds the farcical The Death and Return of Superman online.
The single surviving character of any importance (that pretty blonde plot device with a camera doesn’t count), Matt, is off on some spiritual journey in Tibet, and want’s nothing more than to be left alone. And you might say that that would be the perfect setup, as he could be dragged back to society to confront some threat with his abilities, but then suddenly you’re making the exact type of superhero movie that Chronicle was praised for not being.
So then what’s left to do? Have some other kids find the weird alien craft and develop superpowers, slowly learning to use them, bef-Oh wait, we’ve seen this movie before!
Do you see my concern now? Now Landis clearly has some writing chops, so I don’t think he would go ahead with this unless he’s come up with a logical story hook. (Because clearly nobody has ever made a bad cash-in sequel just to get more money). Right now though, I just can’t see what that hook could be.