Clash of the Titans (2010 film)
|Clash of the Titans|
|Directed by||Louis Leterrier|
|Based on||Clash of the Titans|
by Beverley Cross
|Cinematography||Peter Menzies Jr.|
|Music by||Ramin Djawadi|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$493.2 million|
Clash of the Titans is a 2010 action fantasy film and remake of the 1981 film of the same name produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (the rights to which had been acquired by Warner Bros. in 1996 through its purchase of Turner). The story is very loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus. An Australian-American production directed by Louis Leterrier from a screenplay by Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi, starring Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos, Ralph Fiennes, and Liam Neeson, the film was originally set for standard release on March 26, 2010. However, it was later announced that the film would be converted to 3D and was released on April 2, 2010.
Clash of the Titans grossed $493 million worldwide, though it received generally negative reviews from critics and received two Golden Raspberry Awards nominations. The film's success led to a sequel, Wrath of the Titans, released in March 2012.
After defeating the Titans, the gods divided the world among themselves; Zeus took the skies, Poseidon the seas, and Hades, deceived by Zeus, was left with the Underworld. The gods created the mortals, whose worship maintained the god's immortality. Over time, however (shortly after both the Trojan War & Odysseus' 10-year delayed journey back to Ithaca), the mortals began to blaspheme and defy their creators. The demigod Perseus was born to the mortal queen Danae who was conceived by Zeus during the siege of King Acrisius at Mount Olympus. Upon discovering her conception, an enraged Acrisius orders the queen's execution and locks the child in a chest with her corpse. In Zeus' retaliation, a lightning bolt strikes the king and severely deforms him. The king then throws the chest into the sea. Thereafter, Perseus is found and raised by the fisherman Spyros and his wife Marmara.
Thirteen years later, Perseus and his family watch as soldiers from the city of Argos destroy the statue of Zeus, declaring war on the gods. The Furies are then unleashed and slaughter the soldiers. Hades appears and destroys the family's fishing vessel; Spyros and his family drown; Perseus is the only survivor. Found by another group of soldiers, Perseus is brought before King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia. They are celebrating their campaign against the gods, while their daughter Princess Andromeda disapproves of her parents leading the city's rebellion. When Cassiopeia begins boasting of her daughter to the gods, the revelry is interrupted by Hades, who exposes Perseus' lineage to Zeus and rapidly ages Cassiopeia. He threatens to unleash his monster, the Kraken, against Argos, unless Andromeda is offered as a sacrifice. Perseus meets Io, a mysterious woman cursed with immortality, who confirms his origin.
Perseus, Io, and the King's Guard led by Draco journey to the Stygian Witches, seeking a way to defeat the Kraken. To help his son, Zeus tries to give Perseus a sword forged on Olympus, which he refuses. Soon after, they are attacked by a decrepit Acrisius, now known as Calibos, who was corrupted by Hades, and sent to kill Perseus. During the fight, Draco severs Calibos' hand, forcing him to retreat to a desert where his blood from the hand stump conjures giant scorpions which attack the group. They are rescued by a band of Djinn, desert sorcerers who tame the remaining scorpions and lend their aid to Perseus and his group. They arrive at the lair of the Stygian Witches who are forced to reveal a weapon to defeat the Kraken: the head of the gorgon Medusa, who resides in the Underworld. Upon arrival, Perseus and his remaining companions enter Medusa's temple lair, while Io remains outside. Medusa kills everyone except Perseus, who finally manages to behead her by using the underside of his shield to see her with his back turned. As he leaves the temple, Calibos appears and fatally stabs Io. Perseus and Calibos fight, ending the battle after Perseus picks up the Olympian sword and kills Calibos, restoring his human form at the last moment. As Io lies dying, she urges Perseus to save Andromeda and Argos.
The winged horse Pegasus arrives and takes Perseus back to Argos as Hades, having manipulated Zeus and the gods in earning their trust, releases the Kraken. Perseus arrives and exposes Medusa's head to the Kraken, which gradually petrifies and crumbles. Prokopion, a cult leader who worships Hades, attempts to kill Perseus, but Cepheus intervenes and both of them are then crushed by the Kraken's falling claw. Hades confronts Perseus, but the latter, invoking Zeus, hurls his sword at Hades, forcing him back to the Underworld. Perseus rescues Andromeda, who asks Perseus to rule Argos by her side as King, but he declines. Perseus later refuses another offer of godhood from Zeus; instead, Zeus revives Io, reuniting her and Perseus.
- Sam Worthington as Perseus
A fisherman who finds out he is a demigod, as the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and the mortal Danae. Perseus goes on a quest for the head of Medusa in order to stop the gods from destroying Argos. The Ancient Greeks regarded Perseus as one their greatest heroes, as well as the founder of Mycenae. The film adapts elements of the classical Greek myths around Perseus, but does so loosely. The mythological Perseus was sent to collect the head of Medusa by King Polydectes so Polydectes could force Danae into marriage during Perseus' absence. Perseus went on this quest unaided by companions, but with help from the gods Hermes and Athena.
- Otto Farrant plays Perseus as a young boy
- Liam Neeson as Zeus, king of the gods, as well as the god of the sky, lightning and thunder. Zeus created man but has become disappointed with their lack of respect.
- Ralph Fiennes as Hades, god of the underworld and the dead, a brother of Zeus. Hades resents his brother for him (Hades) being appointed lord of the underworld, and plots to destroy his brother.
- Gemma Arterton as Io;
A mortal woman who once refused the advances of a god and was cursed with agelessness. She has watched over Perseus and acts as his guide. The character is loosely inspired by the mythological figure of Io, whom Zeus coveted. In order to keep Io safe from the wrath of his wife, Zeus turned Io into a cow. The mythological Io and Perseus never met as they lived hundreds of years apart, with Io actually a distant ancestor of Perseus.
- Alexa Davalos as Andromeda
A princess of Argos, who is sacrificed to the Kraken after her mother foolishly boasts about Andromeda's beauty; in classical Greek mythology, Andromeda was a princess of Aethiopia who was sacrificed to the sea monster Cetus.
- Jason Flemyng as King Acrisius;
A mortal king who led a revolt against the gods. As punishment, Zeus impregnated Acrisius' wife, Queen Danae, and turned Acrisius into the deformed creature Calibos. The character is based on the mythological King Acrisius who was Danae's father and thus Perseus' maternal grandfather. The mythological Acrisius attempted to murder his daughter because an oracle had foretold that Acrisius would one day be killed by his own grandson. Acrisius' transformation into Calibos is not based on mythological sources, but is instead inspired by the character from the original film.
- Mads Mikkelsen as Draco, captain of the royal guard of Argos, who accompanies Perseus.
- Liam Cunningham as Solon, an experienced soldier from Argos who accompanies Perseus.
- Hans Matheson as Ixas, a soldier from Argos who accompanies Perseus.
- Nicholas Hoult as Eusebios, a young and devout soldier from Argos who accompanies Perseus.
- Ashraf Barhom as Ozal, a hunter who joins Perseus' journey, brother to Kucuk.
- Mouloud Achour as Kucuk, a hunter who joins Perseus' journey, brother to Ozal.
- Ian Whyte as Sheikh Suleiman;
Leader of the Djinn, humanoid sorcerers who live in the desert and use black magic to extend their lifespan. The Djinn do not appear in Ancient Greek mythology, but are creatures from Arabic myths instead.
- Luke Treadaway as Prokopion, a doomsday prophet who urges the Argives to worship the gods.
Pete Postlethwaite and Elizabeth McGovern appear in the opening scenes of the film as Spyro and Marmara, who find the infant Perseus and become his adoptive parents. Both characters do not appear in classical Greek mythology, where Perseus was instead raised by his mother Danae, who did not die during their voyage in the coffin. Vincent Regan and Polly Walker play King Kepheus and Queen Cassiopeia, the arrogant rulers of Argos and parents of Andromeda. In the original myths Cepheus and Cassiopeia were king and queen of Aethiopia instead.
Rory McCann and Martin McCann make appearances as Belo and Phaedrus, two soldiers from Argos who initially accompany Perseus on his journey. Kaya Scodelario plays Peshet, handmaiden to Princess Andromeda.
Luke Evans plays Apollo, god of music, the sun, dance and archery and a son of Zeus. Danny Huston and Alexander Siddig appear briefly as Poseidon, god of the sea, and Hermes, god of roads and travelers. Ross Mullan, Robin Berry and Graham Hughes play the three Stygian Witches, who are based on the Graeae Pemphredo, Enyo and Deino. Supermodels Agyness Deyn and Natalia Vodianova make brief appearances as Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and the monstrous Medusa, one of the fearsome Gorgons, respectively. Izabella Miko has a non-speaking role as Athena, the goddess of wisdom and knowledge.
The Clash of the Titans remake project started in 2002 under producer Adam Schroeder and writers John Glenn and Travis Wright. They wanted to drop the "cheesy chessboard manipulation of characters" by the gods. In the Wright/Glenn version of Clash, various pantheons were mixed together. The main villain was the Sumerian Sea Goddess of Death and Destruction, Tiamat. Perseus was originally kidnapped by an avatar of an unidentified Chthonian Earth Goddess, who planned to have him married to Andromeda so as to develop better relations with humanity. The Earth Goddess and Perseus proceed to fall in love. Zeus prepared to engage in war with Tiamat; taking the aids of other gods (such as Thoth, Marduk, Yahweh and Osiris). A High Priest named Fantasos starts a Cult of Tiamat that quickly conquers the city. Andromeda was originally a promiscuous spoiled Princess who possessed various male sex slaves. Though the mixing of Mythologies and the Perseus-Earth Goddess romance was abandoned, the concept of a Goddess enraged at arrogant humans and demanding a sacrifice and the Cult of the Evil God (Changed from Tiamat to Hades) was retained into the final production. Producer Basil Iwanyk revived the project in 2006 with a rewrite by Travis Beacham, a fan of the original, who intended the script to be "darker and more realistic". Lawrence Kasdan and director Stephen Norrington signed on in 2007. Kasdan gave the script another rewrite from the Beacham version. But Norrington was unsure about his direction for the project because he did not grow up with the original. Leterrier, who did, contacted Norrington through their shared agent about replacing him. By June 2008 Leterrier joined the project and Warner Bros. greenlit the film. Leterrier noted the original Clash of the Titans inspired the climax of his previous film The Incredible Hulk – a battle in a burnt-down courtroom with temple-like columns – and has compared modern superheroes to Greek mythology.
Writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi took over the script during July 2008 and used Beacham's draft as a starting point. They focused on the mythology and telling the story through Leterrier's eyes. Hay and Manfredi had to rewrite the script in less than a year using a very active process. Leterrier sought Ray Harryhausen's involvement, and reunited with Hulk concept artist Aaron Sims, who had already been working on Clash of the Titans with Norrington.
Louis Leterrier, during an interview, revealed that he is a big fan of Masami Kurumada's Saint Seiya manga (also known as Knights of the Zodiac) and its anime adaptation. He specifically cited the armor that the Gods wear in his film remake as a sign of homage and respect to Saint Seiya. Masami Kurumada, the author of Saint Seiya, was even asked to collaborate with the production team on poster designs.
Sam Worthington took the role of Perseus because he wanted to make a Clash of the Titans for his nine-year-old niece's generation. During filming the cast had a few laughs about the costumes, but he took it very seriously "so the audience doesn't have to." Worthington also did not wear sandals while filming; he instead painted toes on his sports shoes so he could perform the stunts better.
According to actress Emma Thompson in a 2014 interview on The Graham Norton Show sitting alongside Luke Evans, Hugh Grant and Lenny Kravitz, she almost made an accidental uncredited cameo in the movie while visiting her friend Liam Neeson on the set. Thompson, who'd been filming Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang in an adjacent studio, went to visit Neeson during a break, just as Neeson was about to shoot a scene with Ralph Fiennes and Danny Huston. Unable to exit the set fast enough as the cameras began to roll, Thompson, in her clumsy Nanny McPhee costume, had to hide behind Huston's throne during the take so she would not be picked up by the cameras.
For the 2D to 3D conversion, Leterrier approached the studio early on about a 3D conversion, but it was expensive and very new technology. After Avatar, the studio put pressure on Leterrier to convert the film. He was worried because of his previous concerns but was convinced after seeing the View-D conversion process. Leterrier considered the 3D conversion to improve the viewing experience, and states that it should not be seen as a gimmick.
In 2013 Leterrier said of the 3D conversion;
It was famously rushed and famously horrible. It was absolutely horrible, the 3D. Nothing was working, it was just a gimmick to steal money from the audience. I’m a good boy and I rolled with the punches and everything, but it’s not my movie.
Filming began April 27, 2009, near London, at Shepperton Studios, and also at Pinewood Studios and at Longcross Studios, near Chertsey, in Surrey. Filming also took place in Wales, the Canary Islands (Spain) (primarily at the World Heritage Site, Teide National Park in Tenerife), Maspalomas Dunes, Gran Canaria, and Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote. Aerial photography was conducted in Iceland and Ethiopia.
Bubo, Athena's mechanical owl in the original 1981 film, makes a cameo appearance in this remake and its sequel.
Clash of the Titans was originally set for standard release on March 26, 2010. The Heat Vision Blog reported on January 27, 2010, that after a 3D conversion test of the film, which Warner Bros. found to be a "roaring success," the film would be converted to 3D and would premiere on April 2, 2010. The national premiere in Spain took place on March 30 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital city of the Canary Islands.
Clash of the Titans received generally negative reviews, with most criticism directed at its flat characters and its use of 3D, but received praise for its visual effects and action sequences. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 27% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 263 reviews; the average rating is 4.32/10. The website's critical consensus states, "An obviously affectionate remake of the 1981 original, Louis Leterrier's Clash of the Titans doesn't offer enough visual thrills to offset the deficiencies of its script." On Metacritic, the film was assigned a weighted average score of 39 out of 100, based on 37 reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews." Even before release, the film attracted some negative attention for its original tagline, "Titans Will Clash," although the trailers, edited to match "The Bird and the Worm" by The Used, were praised.
In his review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4, stating "I don't say it's good cinema, although I recognize the craftsmanship that went into it. I don't say it's good acting, when the men have so much facial hair they all look like Liam Neeson. I like the energy, the imagination, the silliness." Richard Corliss of Time could understand why the film received negative reviews, but found it "a full-throttle action-adventure, played unapologetically straight." He dismissed other critics' complaints, writing that the film is "very watchable in 2-D," that other critics were influenced by nostalgia for the original, and that 15 seconds of Bubo is enough for his tastes. Colin Covert gave the film a mildly positive review, stating the film was "all flash, trash, and crash," "a tasty hunk of baloney," and "mindless yet shamelessly thrilling." He said Worthington had a "Shatneresque heaviness about him," and found that all the laughs came from the fact that the heavyweight actors were "slumming through their roles." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B-, writing "The new Clash isn't a cynical rehash. It has the flavor of a certain pre-CGI innocence." James Berardinelli gave it a mixed review, concluding that "Clash of the Titans is a flawed but mildly entertaining regurgitation of Greek mythological elements, but it's also an example of how poorly executed 3D can hamstring a would-be spectacle."
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film 1 star out of four, stating "The film is a sham, with good actors going for the paycheck and using beards and heavy makeup to hide their shame." In a review for the Chicago Tribune, Turan complained that the film is worse in 3D; he went on further to explain that the action scenes are "more of a distraction than an enhancement", with the battle scenes being cluttered and "harder to follow rather than exciting". Claudia Puig for USA Today wrote that the film's "most outstanding achievement is the ability to be both chaotic and dull". Justification for her opinion came from the frantic action sequences and muddled special effects. Dan Kois blamed the director for making a "muddled disappointment" instead of a "camp classic that could have endured for generations." He also accused Leterrier of not knowing how to direct an action scene, and that the film lacked "wit and flair." David Stratton also criticized the film's action scenes, suggesting to Leterrier: "check out your local video store for something by Kurosawa, or almost any movie with sword fight scenes, to see how it's done."
The film was nominated for "Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel" and "Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3D" at the 31st Golden Raspberry Awards, but lost to Sex and the City 2 and The Last Airbender, respectively.
Clash of the Titans earned $61,235,105 in its opening weekend in 3,777 theaters in the United States and Canada (not including Thursday previews). The movie was #1 for two weeks in a row, edging out Date Night and the previous winner, How to Train Your Dragon. Clash of the Titans made $163,214,888 domestically, as of July 22, 2010, and $330,000,000 overseas, as of September 19, 2010, for a worldwide total of $493,214,888. On the all-time worldwide chart it ranks 80th and in North America it is below #100.
Clash of the Titans was released on DVD and Blu-ray combo pack on July 16 (Mexico), July 26 (UK), July 27 (USA) and (Canada), October 6 (Japan), 2010. A 3D Blu-ray version of the film was also released in a combo pack with the 2D version, DVD, and digital copy.
Namco Bandai Games and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a video game adaptation of the movie on July 27, 2010, on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, to coincide with the film's home video release; it was originally planned for release in March 2010.
Production of the sequel, Wrath of the Titans, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, began on March 23, 2011. Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson reprised their roles and the film was released on March 30, 2012.
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