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Remember Chronicle? The 2012 film cleverly fused found-footage horror and the comic book genre, and had director Josh Trank’s phone ringing off the hook for a while. Before he made 2015’s disappointing Fantastic Four, the breakout box office hit opened doors for the young filmmaker that almost had him working on films for Star Wars, Venom and a video game property. He could have made a Chronicle 2 too, but he did everything in his power for the sequel not to happen.
Josh Trank has revealed that a script for Chronicle 2 by the original film’s screenwriter, Max Landis, had been written a few years back. It would have been about a young girl who becomes obsessed with the one surviving character, Matt (played by Alex Russell), and builds his own Iron Man suit. Trank found the script to be just “fine” and “nothing to do with why I wanted to do” the first movie. So here’s how he stopped it from getting made:
I made it difficult for them to set up meetings. I was dodgy about stuff. I did a lot of shitty things. Because I really didn’t ever want to see Chronicle 2 happen. That was my worst nightmare. First of all, I’m not doing it. Second, if somebody else does it, then you know it’s gonna be a piece of shit.
And it never happened. It wouldn’t have been difficult to see Chronicle becoming a franchise, but Josh Trank was not into it. Who knows if it would have been made anyway, as Matt Landis, his collaborator on the found-footage success, has since been accused of sexual and emotional abuse by eight women.
When Chronicle scored a $22 million opening weekend (double its production budget) back in February 2012, it made 27-year-old Josh Trank a record-breaker. The director became the youngest filmmaker to have a movie open at the top of the box office charts. Chronicle went on to soar to $126.6 million worldwide and launch the careers of Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan.
Following his directorial debut, Josh Trank was in talks to make the cancelled Boba Fett movie, make his own R-rated version of Venom inspired by The Mask, and adapt the video game The Shadow of The Colossus for the big screen, but it was Fox’s reboot of Fantastic Four that really caught his eye. In his words to Polygon, it “felt like the most rebellious thing to do.”
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