The idea behind the spec script Chronicle seems better suited for a kid-focused TV series in the line of The Secret World of Alex Mack, but because superhero stories just won't die at the movies, it's going to the big screen instead. According to THR Fox has picked up the spec by Max Landis, and first-timer Josh Trank plans to direct.

The story follows three teenagers in Portland, Oregon who are exposed to "a mysterious substance in the woods" that gives them some kind of superpowers. They team up to take advantage of their new skills, but if even The Avengers squabble amongst themselves once in a while, you know the relationship is going to turn sour before too long. Apparently Trank plans to shoot the film in a handheld, Cloverfield-inspired style, which is not really great news. We've seen kids running around in the woods followed by a handheld camera in The Blair Witch Project, and it's really only the rare director who can pull off the handheld style without just giving the audience motion sickness.

Trank and Landis are both children of Hollywood-- Landis is son of director John, Trank's dad Richard won a documentary Oscar in 1997-- so clearly their inexperience doesn't indicate a lack of knowledge. As much as the handheld style worries me, a small, original story like this sounds like a great place for new filmmakers to get started. Of course, these are new filmmakers who just happen to have a major studio funding their work… but hey, that's Hollywood nepotism at work for you.

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