Initially, a remake of the cheesy eighties movie “Clash of the Titans” probably seemed like a bad idea. It’s been looking better and better as Warner Brothers has put out more material. The trailer has been out for awhile now, and the movie looks like a heavy metal version of “Lord of the Rings,” not necessarily a bad thing.
Warner Brothers has released more stills from the movie, a sampling of which are reprinted here.
Sam Worthington stars as the classic Greek hero Perseus, played in the original by Harry Hamlin. Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. Gemma Aterton, Alexa Davalos and Mads Mikkelsen (“Casino Royale”) are also featured.
To say Worthington, who hails from Australia, is on a hot streak would be an understatement. This past summer, Worthington was featured in director McG’s “Terminator: Salvation” opposite Christian Bale. Right now he’s in theaters in James Cameron’s 3D, sci-fi epic “Avatar” which is currently the number one movie in the world, and has officially hit the one billion dollar box office mark. It may still be in the second run venues when “Clash of the Titans” opens on March 26th. The official plot synopsis being disseminated by Warner Brothers says:
In “Clash of the Titans,” the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods. But the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing left to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth. Leading a daring band of warriors, Perseus sets off on a perilous journey deep into forbidden worlds. Battling unholy demons and fearsome beasts, he will only survive if he can accept his power as a god, defy his fate and create his own destiny.
Sam Worthington in “Clash of the Titans” Photo: Warner Bros (c) 2010
Which doesn’t sound a whole like the original movie, but then, the original movie didn’t have a whole lot to do with the original Greek myths, either.
“Clash of the Titans” is directed by Louis Leterrier from a script by Travis Beacham and Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi. Leterrier got his first major film credit was assisting Jean-Pierre Jeunet on the set of “Alien: Resurrection.” He also worked with Luc Besson (“La Femme Nikita”) on a number of commercials and the film “Joan of Arc.”
In 2002 Leterrier was involved with “The Transporter,” which starred Jason Statham. The US version credits him as “artistic director” and Corey Yuen as the director. The European prints credit Leterrier as director and Corey Yuen as “action director.” In 2004, however, Leterrier was back in Luc Besson’s repertory company and given sole directorial credit on the Jet Li vehicle, “Danny the Dog,” released in the US as “Unleashed.”
Leterrier also has undisputed sole director’s credit on “The Transporter 2.” In 2008 he directed Marvel’s reboot “The Incredible Hulk,” which starred Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and William Hurt.
This is Leterrier’s first foray into costume movie territory, and the trailer at least should go a long ways towards convincing the all-important male adolescent audience that Greek mythology is cool.
“Clash of the Titans” Photo: Warner Brothers Entertainment (c) 2010
The original was the last gasp of Ray Harryhausen’s style of stop-motion animation special effects, which had thrilled audiences in the sixties in the delightfully cheesy “Sinbad” movies and “Jason and the Argonauts.” By the eighties, it was beginning to look creaky. Nonetheless, “Clash of the Titans,” which starred Harry Hamlin as Perseus, Laurence Olivier as Zeus, Ursula Andress as Aphrodite, Claire Bloom as Hera, Burgess Meredith and Maggie Smith, performed credibly at the box office and has become a cult favorite. (Harry Hamlin and Ursula Andress, despite a substantial age difference, became romantically involved during the making of the movie.)
One thing that is apparent from the stills from Leterrier’s version of “Clash of the Titans” is that in this CGI-dominated age of movie-making, they built some very big sets for this movie. That alone might be worth looking forward to.
“Clash of the Titans” is scheduled to open on March 26, 2010, just a little more than a month after “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” Should either/or click at the box office, you can expect a lot more mythology-themed pictures. Tarsem Singh’s mythological tale “Dawn Of War” (aka “War of the Gods”) begins shooting early next year in Canada. And Kenneth Branagh’s eagerly anticipated adaptation of Marvel Comics “Thor” is scheduled to start principal photography this month.
For more info: www.aerochug.com/x-18039-Capital-District-Movies-Examiner~y2009m10d4-Greek-mythology-may-be-next-big-Hollywood-trend