Here’s a compilation of his comments:
In retrospect, I’m not even sure if fans of the first film would’ve been ready or eager for my second instalment as originally written.
Gone was the aspirational “what would you do,” gone were the pranks and bromance, gone were lovely tragic Andrew and hopeful, bright Steve.
In their place was a dark, frustratingly unblinking stare into a complicated world that posed the question is it worth it to be a hero, old from the point of view of a heartbroken and insane woman who would martyr herself to the cause of being the world’s first villain.
It was, in my estimation, a sequel that elaborated on the ideas and situations from the first to create a different genre of movie.
In the best of worlds, in my optimistic but wildly prejudiced eyes, this could make it an Aliens, a Terminator 2…in the worst a Grease 2.
So at the end of the day, maybe it’s better that Martyr never saw the light of day. Sad I didn’t get to do some of my other versions.
The most frustrating thing is that I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to explain what MOGO was or what he was doing in that cave.
I assume that as Landis called the film Martyr and then referred specifically to one character as “a heartbroken and insane woman who would martyr herself,” this woman would have been the lead character.
Which means he was pitching a film with an insane super villainess at its centre.
So, yeah, I’m not surprised Fox said no. I do, however, wish they’d said yes.
Perhaps most excitingly, Landis seemed to have plans that went beyond just one more picture:
The multi-movie low budge Chronicle-based found footage superhero universe culminating in an Avengers type team up was a real good one.
Well, it’s not a bad one, that’s for sure, as long as each film was of quality. Chronicle was certainly a good start.
Martyr was, really, a victim of Chronicle‘s success. I’m sure that Fox weren’t worried about spending a budget they’d never make back – this film did not have to be expensive – but of backing the least profitable of possible follow ups.
Perhaps they might have learned that Chronicle succeeded because it was a surprise, and the best next move would have been to surprise the audience again. Sounds like Landis got this idea right at least.
At the moment, Landis is working on his directorial debut Me Him Her. We’ll be keen to see quite what it is… the indications we’ve seen so far make it pretty hard to pin down. Meanwhile, Chronicle‘s director Josh Trank is working on The Fantastic Four do-over.