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Josh Trank's Chronicle seemed like every bit the one-off film, a mini-budgeted surprise that grossed a solid $126 million worldwide. The ending is bleak, but with a sliver of hope that allows viewers to fill in the blanks. But a studio just leaving a potential franchise behind is simply bad business, and Chronicle 2 is on the way, and a new writer is tackling the material.
Deadline reports that Jack Stanley has been hired to restart the legend of Chronicle. You're not gonna find Stanley on IMDb: he's strictly new blood, having landed on the Black List for his screenplay Sweetheart. That premise involves a young hitwoman visiting her high school reunion and ending up in a fatal situation. Guess there aren't many movies out there about hitwomen, so sure, if they ever make that movie it would be worth a watch. Currently, Stanley's new script, Silver, is "making the rounds" according to Deadline. It's about a werewolf. It's good to know stories about real, hard-working middle class citizens are being told in Hollywood.
The original film was penned by outspoken scribe Max Landis (The Death And Return Of Superman). But while he was retained for a sequel, it seemed clear that the men and women in charge took issue with his angle. When he was let go, he revealed it to the public (suggesting Fox legal had no qualms, and that it was ultimately very different than what the studio was pursuing). The concept followed a girl's pursuit of being one of the world's first super-powered villains, and the original title was Martyr. It sounded like interesting and also potentially upsetting territory given the violent implications of the first film. Dane DeHaan's (Devil's Knot) character was the "villain" of the piece, but he wasn't necessarily making conscious decisions to create havoc on a wide scale. Someone with his powers though... considering the apocalyptic aesthetic of Chronicle, that could have caused some serious damage.
The guess is that the studio wants to directly follow Alex Russell's (Bait 3D) character Matt at the close of Chronicle as he makes a superpowered journey across the world, helping others and learning the limitations of his ability. It is a chance to thematically re-write the close of Chronicle to allow for some hope to peer into what is a massive disaster, but it also revisits the dullest of that film's three leads. Maybe Stanley's take on the material actually revisits the found footage-superpowers concept but with new characters. Maybe it actually tries to explain that mysterious alien device that gives the characters the abilities. Or maybe it's a wacky Porky's-style comedy where Patrick Stewart (Safe House) removes clothing.