"I'm still not sure [about 'Chronicle 2']," Trank told us in a recent interview, crediting his reluctance with a follow-up to his concerns about the first film. "I was nervous this type of movie would be perceived as a gimmick," he said, speaking of the proliferation of found-footage films. "So I was in denial for awhile about what the potential of the film could be." It took a chance encounter with childhood friend Max Landis to change his perception about the film.
Thanks to Landis, Trank's vision came to the screen almost completely intact. "This is something I had been working on for a couple of years," he says. "The movie you saw was what I had in mind. It's this film that plays out as a personal documentary. And it feels like it could be another found footage film, and then it turns into something a little different. I wanted to use the superpowers to heighten the drama, heighten the relationships." Of course, there was a dollop of autobiography involved, while Trank says the key in developing the characters was to completely avoid stereotypes, "Matt is the character I relate to a lot as far as my high school years, being a pseudo-intellectual, trying to prove to everyone how smart he is."
As for people looking for answers regarding the logic of the film's more fantastical elements, Trank says that they're ignoring the purpose of the movie. "It was very important in this film to not worry about the answer of what’s in that cave," he says. "The film is a first-person perspective, and the most important feeling is the emotional experience of what this would feel like, instead of searching for the science fiction movie answers. This isn’t the type of movie where we cut to the Pentagon and see a bunch of brass, and maps and four star generals describing what we found in Haven Hills. We really wanted this to play out from a point of view where we don’t have any of the answers. The challenge was to make this film emotionally satisfying."
Trank's also been linked to rumors of a "Fantastic Four" reboot at Fox, though he reiterates that he knows as much as you do. "I have not met about 'Fantastic Four' reboots," he declares definitively. "I was on the press tour and had to call everybody up and ask, what is this about? 'Fantastic Four' is at Fox, and I guess someone theorized about it, someone heard it, and Variety was like, that’s happening! I can’t really speak on that, because I don’t know what to say."
However, it's still a door he won't close, growing up as a comic book fan. "I do have a deal with Fox, but right now I’m trying to work on original ideas," he says. "To me the most important thing is a good story, though I know how cliché that sounds. Finding my next project, whether it’s a big franchise idea, or a small idea, it’s all about strong characters and a good story, making something I would really want to see."
"Chronicle" is in theaters now.