The superhero movie landscape was markedly different back in 2012. The MCU’s Avengers teaming up on the big screen was a fresh, exciting idea at the time, and the world had not yet gotten its first taste of the DCEU. But while the major studio franchises that dominate the box office were still ramping up somewhat, smaller projects like 20th Century Studios’ Chronicle were on the scene. Now, so many years later, a sequel is in the works.
Chronicle — a movie directed by Josh Trank and written by accused sexual predator Max Landis — borrowed many elements from Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira to tell a story about a group of American teenagers whose lives spiral out of control after they all gain superpowers from exposure to a mysterious rock. While Chronicle’s ending left open the possibility for more exploration of its world, it’s been years since there was any word about whether the studio was considering a follow-up.
In a recent interview with Forbes, though, producer John Davis announced that a sequel is already in development. While there’s certainly been more to the Chronicle 2 discussions, Davis explained that a big part of the studio’s decision is the fact that the first film was a huge return on its investment. “Chronicle we did for $US12 ($16) million, and it grossed $US126.64 ($171) million worldwide,” Davis pointed out. “Then it had a huge afterlife in syndication. It’s one of the most financially successful movies in my stable.”
The first Chronicle ended with just one of its empowered characters, Matt (Alex Russell) surviving and resolving to learn how to control his powers so as never to become the sort of monster that Andrew (Dane DeHaan), his most destructive friend, did. According to Davis, however, the sequel will follow a new set of female characters whose powers the movie will explore more deeply. “We’re going to tell it from the female point of view,” he said. “It will have been ten years since the event happened in Seattle, and a lot of it’s going to deal with fake news and real news and cover-ups. More interestingly, it’s the next generation getting these powers that are corruptive.”
Davis also shared his thoughts on the difficulties the entertainment industry has been facing during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and expressed his firm belief that theatres, in particular, deserve financial assistance since they were hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Recently, theatre owners have expressed their frustrations with studios opting to release new movies on their own streaming platforms and argued that the releases damage both theatres’ and studios’ bottom lines alike. But where many have been simply pushing for people to get back into theatres — even though the pandemic is still going on and new covid-19 variants are spreading — Davis believes that, because the pandemic is not over, the theatre industry deserves a bailout similar to the one General Motors received in 2008.
“For the theatre owners who are in trouble, we should make liquidity available to them so they can make it through this,” Davis said. “It’s going to be two years before people come back to theatres. It just is. We see spikes, things get better, then things get worse, and then things get better, and so on.”
There’s no word yet on who all might be returning to the world of Chronicle, but watch this space in the coming months for new developments.