Max Landis Shares His Ideas for a Chronicle Sequel, Fantastic Four Movie

Monday, 24 August 2015 - 4:19PM
Comic Book Movies
Fantastic Four
Monday, 24 August 2015 - 4:19PM
Max Landis Shares His Ideas for a Chronicle Sequel, Fantastic Four Movie
Chronicle is a unique creature: a found-footage, dark, character-driven superhero film that actually got good reviews. A sequel is in the works which doesn't include director Josh Trank or screenwriter Max Landis, so we will likely never see their vision for a continuation of the saga. But now, we can at least get an idea of what it might have looked like, as Landis shared his pitch for a sequel that retconned the ending of the first film:

Opening quote
"It begins in the storm with Steve (Michael B. Jordan)," Landis said in an interview with The Daily Beast. "Lightning is going behind Steve and you hear Andrew (Dane DeHaan) going, 'Leave me alone!' and then you hear Matt (Alex Russell) go, 'What's going on? You have to come down right now!' The next shot is the sun is rising over Seattle, they're on a cliff outside the city, the camera's been put down all the way, laying on the ground. Dane is going, 'You don't understand, my mom is really sick and I hate my dad, I've got to get out of the house-'"
Closing quote

He reportedly stopped at this point, getting choked up: "I'm crying, because I love this scene so much." Then he continued,
 
Opening quote
"Matt goes, 'Dude, you're my cousin. Stay with us. Get the fuck out of there.' Andrew's like, 'I'm sorry, I feel like I'm going crazy' and Matt's like, 'It's okay man, we're here for you.' And Steve's like, 'First things first-enough with this fucking camera.' He turns it off, and the title comes up: Chronicle 2.
 
The end of the movie is the government descends on them, there's this whole fight, it's very scary, Andrew is killed. Matt is killed. Steve's alone and he's being closed in on by the government going, 'This didn't happen this way.' The government's going, 'Put your hands in the air!' Steve looks at the camera and goes, 'This didn't happen this way.' And just like that, it rewinds to the beginning of the second act of Chronicle 2 and you see them being filmed by these French girls that they were hanging out with, and you see Steve go, 'We've gotta go.'"
Closing quote


He also discussed another sequel pitch that followed a schizophrenic supervillain named Miranda, who comes into conflict with Matt after her anarchist boyfriend is killed. Landis describes Miranda as wearing a "mechanized suit," and as "totally insane, living in this house with garbage everywhere, filming herself and talking to the camera on drones like it's her boyfriend." He called this treatment "one of my better scripts. It's very dark. It's not Chronicle. It has a much happier ending than Chronicle!"

Before Landis was replaced with Jack Stanley, there were rumors that Fox didn't like his script, and he didn't deny those rumors:

Opening quote
"I don't want to shit-talk Fox, but it really became clear that Chronicle is not a movie they would have made if they knew what they were making. So when I wrote the sequel to that movie, they said, 'This is dark. Where is the aspirational fun stuff? This is a dark dramatic thriller about superheroes that's found footage. No one's going to want to see this.'"
Closing quote


Speaking of shit-talking Fox, Landis recently shared the first four pages of his long-defunct Fantastic Four script, which immediately made the rounds on the internet. They were lauded by the geek community, especially since they were released on the same weekend as Fox's disastrous reboot.



Landis provided more details on his dead and buried script:

Opening quote
"My Fantastic Four was an on-the-run movie. It begins with their origin, which is an illegal Branson-esque space launch where they want to go see this thing. They become the biggest celebrities in the world, except then they wreck and they get these horrible powers. The government is hunting them and they split up, and you really get into the dynamics of these people as they're learning to control their powers. So the origin takes place in the first two minutes and then you learn it's a character movie. Avengers had just come out, and I wanted to present Fox's superhero team so that any one of them could beat all of the Avengers, and any one of them could be the villain of an Avengers movie.

Reed Richards is indestructible. Sue Storm can control light. Johnny Storm can burn hotter than the sun. The Thing is impossibly strong, and you can't hurt him no matter what you do. I thought, what a cool idea, that these four friends have accidentally become gods. I had Doctor Doom as a good guy, one of Reed's college friends, and my whole movie he's trying to find and help them but it wasn't clear if he was good or bad-until the finale of the movie when you realize his connection to Reed, and that they're best friends.

The audience who knows Doctor Doom thinks he's going to turn bad, but the movie ends with him saving them. And in the sequel he's probably good, too. You know, you Sam Raimi-Spider-Man it-at the end of the sequel he gets all fucked up and shows up in the Doctor Doom armor. But then in the third movie he's like, 'What have you done to me?'"
Closing quote


To be fair, it sounds like Josh Trank's Fantastic Four might have had a decent script to begin with as well, so who knows if Landis's version would have been better. (And it's probably beating a dead horse to say that anything would have been better.) But, we do wish that Landis had had the chance to make Chronicle 2, especially since Chronicle was essentially everything Fantastic Four wanted to be. 
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