The original Clash of the Titans did have cool Harryhausen effects. But it also had Harry Hamlin and Burgess Meredith having a “What the hell am I doing here?” moment.
(Pssst…in case you haven’t been in way too many Greek plays, a chiton is a type of Greek outfit. Think toga.)
Word of a remake of the much loved 1981 bomb Clash of the Titans had filtered out months ago (bomb because it sunk at the box office, much loved because its crazy awesome badness is now recognized as its own strange form of genius). Lawrence Kasdan wrote a brand new shiny script, and the Warner Brothers based project picked up needed cachet when fairly hot Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier signed up to take charge.
Now Variety brings word that Relativity Media has picked up the rights to War of the Gods, a script by Charley and Vlas Parlapanides. Warners had actually been in the mix for War, but dropped out when Leterrier agreed to do Clash. War is responding by bringing in Tarsem Singh (The Fall, The Cell) to direct.
Now the studios are going to be in a competition to see who can get their sword and sandal epic into theaters first. Sure, they both deal with different sections of Greek mythology (Perseus for Clash, Theseus for War), but only classics majors will care about that. It’s been proven over and over that when two films of similar subject matter aim for theaters, the second one out always suffers. If the first one is a hit, audiences perceive the second one out as a not-as-good copycat; if the first bombs, then audiences will be turned off and won’t give the second a chance.
Gods is on a fast-track to go into production by the end of the year. No word on when Clash will go, but it’s been in development for a while and would seemingly have more pieces in place.
Who will get there first? Will both even stay in or will the one that lags decide to just cut its losses and drop out? This much we can bet on: Leterrier’s Clash will have lots of action and Tarsem’s Gods will be visually stunning, if perhaps a bit puzzling.