Release the Kraken! Wait, it’s no longer around. In the original film Clash of the Titans Perseus defeated the one of the more truly terrifying monsters on screen, but now is attempting to live a quiet existence hooking much less dangerous fish and being a single father to his 10-year-old son, Helius. That doesn’t make for a very exciting sequel however. The gods and the Titans are not getting along and Perseus feels the need to un-retire and get back into the action.
Wrath of the Titans opens in theaters on Friday, March 30 and of course is the sequel to the 2010 film Clash of the Titans. The film stars Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Danny Huston, Édgar Ramírez, Bill Nighy, Toby Kebbell and Rosamund Pike with Jonathan Liebesman directing a screenplay by Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson. The film will be released in 3D and IMAX 3D.
Director Jonathan Liebesman, who was not involved in the first film, nevertheless feels he has a grip on the Greek myth of Perseus and fulfilling one’s destiny. “It’s an amazing adventure that takes Perseus to places no mortal has been before and pits him against enemies the likes of which no man has ever faced,” states Liebesman, “This is something we all have to do eventually, if not quite as heroically, as Perseus. The reason Greek mythology is so timeless is because it’s full of classic archetypes, as well as tragedy, comedy, betrayal, revenge. It’s got it all and it is part of our collective culture. Everyone knows Zeus and Hades; everyone knows what the Underworld is.”
Adds producer of both films, Basil Iwanyk; “Jonathan loved the material as much as I did and, like I did, he also thought it was really fun to run around Tenerife (located in the Canary Islands) and Wales and the UK, staging full-scale battles and fighting monsters, His enthusiasm was infectious, and he really empowered the people around him, which brought out the best in everybody, cast and crew alike.”
Following the oft used premise of the hero who just wants to be left alone, Sam Worthington reprises his role as Perseus. He explains why his character returns to the underworld. “On his first quest, Perseus had lost everyone that mattered to him and was out for revenge, so on some level it probably didn’t matter to him if he lived or died,” says Worthington, “But now he’s matured, has a kid he loves dearly, and is content with his life. He sees the world differently; he doesn’t want that world to change.”
Several other prominent names from the first film also signed on for the sequel. For Liam Neeson, who plays Zeus, it was a chance to re-examine mythical family relations. “Jonathan and the writers wanted to mine the difficult relationships between Zeus and his sons, Perseus and Ares, and his complex history with Hades and their own father, Kronos,” the actor says. “That appealed to me greatly; the realism within a fantasy, the very human emotions driving this story that takes place in a fabled world.”
For Ralph Fiennes as Hades, it was strictly a chance for escapism. Says Fiennes; “I’ve always thought of the Greek gods as projections of human appetites and desires, especially when you think of our desire for immortality, eternal strength, eternal beauty and power. We can’t have those things, so we create these larger-than-life characters and fantastical stories”
Once again however, the special effects will likely get most of the audience attention. In addition to the gargantuan Kronos, there are several new monsters that were created for the film; the multi-headed Chimera, three one-eyed Cyclops, an army of double-bodied Makhai, and one powerful, menacing Minotaur. And like the first film, they will be seen in 3D. “We conceived the movie for 3D, choreographing shots and consulting our on-set stereographer between takes to ensure that we’d be able to use the technology to our greatest advantage.” Liebesman states.
“People go to the movies to be transported to worlds they’ve only dreamed about,” Basil Iwanyk says. “I think that, with our creatures and our action and our scope and scale, it’s going to be exciting and immersive. The monsters and the fire and the dust and ash of the atmosphere are going to come right out into the audience. It’ll be crazy fun.” Liebesman adds, “When Kronos comes out of the screen, with comets of lava flying off of him, you’ll feel as though he’s coming right for you.”
The first ‘Titan’ film grossed almost $500 million on a $125 million budget but really garnered subpar reviews, with the aforementioned special effects getting the nod over confusing characterizations and weak plot. This version was made for slightly more at $150 million, but I’m guessing the studio is hoping once again that 3D and fresh, monstrous CG effects can pull the film through to a profit. To be honest, the Greek mythology premise can only go through so many reincarnations…plus the fact that most of the same actors are in the film. There appears to be little else new here, maybe Perseus will finally stay retired after this one.
Cast and Characters:
Sam Worthington as Perseus, the demigod son of Zeus.
Ralph Fiennes as Hades, god of the underworld.
Liam Neeson as Zeus, the king of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus.
Danny Huston as Poseidon, god of the sea.
Édgar Ramírez as Ares, the traitorous god of war.
Bill Nighy as Hephaestus, the fallen god whose twisted, lame figure belies his Olympian origins.
Toby Kebbell as Agenor, imprisoned thief and demigod son of Poseidon who joins Perseus on his journey to Tartarus.
Rosamund Pike as Andromeda, the princess whose life Perseus once saved, and who now, as a queen, follows Perseus into battle.