CHRONICLE: Exclusive Interview with Writer Max Landis
With the exceptions of Hancock and Hellboy, CBMS have prodominently been represented by titles based on Marvel and DC characters. Chronicle, explains screenwriter Max Landis in this exclusive interview, hopes to shake things up a bit.
"Chronicle was written very much intending to be an antidote to all of the other superhero movies," offers Landis of the February 3rd release. "We've sort of forgotten in this slew of comic-based superhero movies that what made those characters iconic is not the giant set pieces or the action that happens in comics. All of those movies feel like the same film by the second act; they all blur together.
"I wrote Chronicle specifically to show people that a movie about people with powers doesn't have to be the way it's been presented so far," he adds. "It can be something character based. Chronicle is closer to Carrie than Captain America. It's definitely not Stephen King, but it's definitely got an edge to it that these movies don't usually have. It doesn't exist in a fantastical world. Ultimately the consequences aren't Spider-Man has to save the girl from falling off the bridge; there's a more serious set of consequences than that."
Chronicle deals with a trio of high schoolers who find themselves suddenly endowed with telekentic abilities following an incredible discovery that they make. But what may initially seem like a blessing turns into something much darker as their lives begin spinning out of control and the bond that they have been forming is tested as an embracing of their darker side begins.
For Landis, what's interesting about the film is that the power itself is less of a plot device and more of a character tool.
"The power doesn't necessary corrupt you," he muses, "but maybe it's just the things in your life that get magnified. Maybe you got through having the power without being corrupted, but if you were already a paranoid person, or you're an angry person, it's going to put a magnifying glass on that. It's like making someone a boss. We tried to portray it less like Spider-Man and more like making someone the CEO of a company. They go in pretty idealistic and maybe they stay idealistic, but when it comes time to fire people, when it comes time to protect themselves, maybe the reactions are a bit more magnified than they should be."
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