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Not long after the release of "Clash Of The Titans," I had occasion to speak to Thomas Tull, the CEO of Legendary Pictures. He was one of the main reasons that the remake of "Clash" happened in the first place, as he holds the first film as one of his most cherished geek treasures. He wanted to do something grand and amazing and really dig into the potential of the mythology of that world, and instead…
… well, if you saw "Clash Of The Titans," you know that didn't really work out. And no one seemed more aware of the film's shortcomings than Tull. Star Sam Worthington has been blunt about the film's problems as well in interviews, and so as they were gearing up for the sequel, it seemed that everyone had the same goal in mind: they wanted to set things right. Tull told me that he felt obligated to make a sequel just so they had another shot at making the film he had in mind the first time around, which seems to me as good a reason to make a sequel as any.
"Wrath Of The Titans" is not so much a conventional sequel as it is a total overhaul of what Warner and Legendary hope is an ongoing franchise. Looking at this trailer, I like a lot of the footage itself, but I have a few concerns. I think it's kind of amazing Warner Bros. would go back to that "Sweet Dreams" cover again, considering how key it was to the "Sucker Punch" campaign, and we all know how that ended. I also think it's a mistake to constantly push this nu-metal sound for fantasy films instead of just creating your own score, something that puts a real signature on the series. Look at this morning's amazing "Dark Knight Rises" trailer. There, they just use Hans Zimmer's score for the series so far, and it sets a unique mood, letting you know that this is indeed a new chapter in that series. Since they didn't manage to really create a recognizable theme for "Titans" the first time around, they're leaning on this one marketing trick that comes across more as white noise than anything else. I also have to wonder about a feeling of sameness setting in for some of 2012's event movies. This is coming out in the same basic time frame as "John Carter," and sure enough, some of the same basic ideas show up in both trailers. It feels like overkill already when we've got two dudes chained to monsters in what look like major set pieces in the respective films, and I wonder if audiences are going to feel that fatigue.
Still, there are things to like in that trailer. I like the look of the fights in the film, athletic and dirty, and I think there's some fun to be had with the crazy traps and environments we glimpse here. I want to believe that this is going to be an improvement on the first film, and since they're not remaking anything this time out, they're free to invent as much as they want, which could be a very good thing, indeed. We see Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson again, and it certainly looks like it's going to be a huge movie in terms of scale.
Will it be enough to wipe away all memories of the first film? We won't know until March, but I certainly hope this second time at bat yields stronger results than the first time. For now, this is a good trailer, but gives me enough pause that I'm curious to see what you guys think. Here's the link to Apple's HD version.
Titans will wrath, I suppose, on March 30, 2012.