'Clash of the Titans' is the New 'Transformers'

Clash of the Titans 3 script is being written
Photo: Warner Bros.

A couple of days ago I began working on an article headlined "Are there Any Good Sequels to Bad First Films?" I was working on it based on a conversation I was having related to the upcoming Wrath of the Titans (aka Clash of the Titans 2) and as we were talking I said it could be better than the first film. This comment was followed by a conversation about whether or not there actually were any sequels to bad first films that were actually good.

After a long conversation we came to the conclusion Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was the only one we could think of, though I did toss in Wrong Turn 2: Dead End as a direct-to-DVD option, but that didn't really seem fair. Despite all that, the reason I didn't post the article was because there weren't necessarily all that many "bad" films that actually got sequels. However, there is one aspect of filmmaking and sequels that seems to be above quality... money.

Transformers was not a good movie, but it made over $709 million worldwide so of course a sequel was going to be made. And it was. And people generally hated it. And it made over $836 million worldwide. And yet another sequel was made. And this one made over $1.1 billion worldwide.

Now we have Clash of the Titans, a film I didn't entirely dislike, but am not above admitting it was not enjoyed by critics and it wasn't necessarily "good". Audiences, however, turned out to the tune of $493 million worldwide, much of that coming from overseas.

Two years later and the sequel is due on March 30, 2012 from Battle: Los Angeles director, Jonathan Liebesman. Should we expect the same Transformers multiplier and expect Clash 2 to bring in around $581 million worldwide? Warner must believe so since they've apparently commissioned a script for a third film.

Heat Vision reports Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson, who co-wrote Wrath's screenplay with Steven Knight and also share story credit with Greg Berlanti, are working on Clash of the Titans 3, which would continue the adventures of Sam Worthington as Perseus, son of Zeus.

The site reports a character named Agenor, a sidekick to Perseus in Clash 2 played by Toby Kebbell, may also figure into the new story, as the second movie leaves the door open for the character's return.

Along with Worthington and Kebbell, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Danny Huston will return for Clash of the Titans 2 as Zeus, Hades and Poseidon respectively along with newcomers Edgar Ramirez as Ares, Rosamund Pike as Andromeda and Bill Nighy as Hephaestus. For complete story details click here.

Are we looking at another Transformers-esque franchise with Warner's attempts to continue Clash despite the negative response to the first film? Clash of the Titans is certainly a cheaper franchise to make as the first film cost $125 million compared to the $150 million to make Transformers and Sam Worthington is definitely positive when it comes to the film, recently talking to Buzzine about the film saying:

You make Clash 2 weighty. Clash 1 is a video game. You make Clash 2 weighty. You take everything you've learned and go, "I'm not doing this f*cking shit! I'm going to do a weighty script in a blockbuster." That's the bigness of a blockbuster. They're very hard because they're done by such a machine, so you try to get that weight that an independent can allow you -- that freedom that they have on an independent script -- and then you try to fit it into a blockbuster where there's a whole set of people who have a say. With something like Clash 2, that's definitely what we've aimed for.

Maybe we not only have to ask if Clash is the new Transformers, but if Worthington is the new Shia LaBeouf. Either way, I am interested to see how Clash of the Titans 2 turns out. Will it be a sequel to a "bad" first film that is actually good?

  • Scott

    In my opinion, The Dark Knight is an example of this. Batman Begins had a sloooow story, the action wasn't particularly thrilling, the villains weren't engaging or even well-known by non-comic-fans, Katie Holmes, etc. . . . not even worthy of a DVD buy. But The Dark Knight was everything Batman Begins wasn't. Of course, I feel the same way about Aliens. The first one had a few well-directed, tense scenes, but overall I have never felt the need to revisit it. Aliens, on the other hand, I can watch that at least once a year. Always great.

    • Feedback

      The Dark Knight and Aliens were better than the originals, but the originals were well-received as well. The same can be said for The Godfather Part II, Spider-Man 2 and Terminator 2.

      The only badly received movies that received a good sequels that I can think of were Hulk and Manhunter, but I feel that The Incredible Hulk and The Silence of the Lambs were more like "reboots" than sequels, even if they were chronologically after the other.

  • Amit

    Saying The Dark Knight and Aliens were better than originals is an entirely subjective opinion...particularly Aliens...which was a totally different movie from the first one in terms of tone & setting...the first one remains a classic ...both of them can be called at par instead of arguing one's superiority over another ...

    Batman Begins did exactly what a reboot was supposed to do...it was about bruce wayne's journey ...and saying it had a " slow " story is absurd....but then we know what opinions are like...everyone has one....

    To my Mind, the best sequel to an average (not bad) film remains The Empire Strikes Back...the first Star Wars , although a watchable fare, was quite average...the second one actually still remains the best of the whole Star Wars saga....

    • Winchester

      That's almost exactly what I was going to write regarding Alien/Aliens.

      That said, I prefer Batman Begins to The Dark Knight these days. TDK gets a little less watchable every time I put it one whereas BB stays about the same.

      It's all relative though.

      Regarding Clash.........after I had stopped chuckling at Worthington's remarks I would have to say, after the first one I very much doubt there will be anything 'weighty' about it when it rolls around.

      But for me the first was so awful there's a good chance I won't even bother with the sequel anyway.

      There's also a good chance it will be as popular at the box office though, so it may grow financially over the first one's results.

  • http://topyxyz.wordpress.com Topy

    Uh, no. Teachers loathed the film, people were left with a bad taste in their mouths when it was released in 3D, and it's far from the original content. That's a recipe for an underwhelming sequel (domestically, anyway). But overseas $ is a different thing. My guess is it'll follow "Silver Surfer" domestically and "Revenge of the Fallen" internationally.

  • Alex

    Some sequels that I liked more or same as the originals are Aliens, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Ice Age, Toy Story, X-Men 2, Superman, and few movies that are planned/recorded ahead like Kill Bill, Harry Potter, LOTR...
    But I agree with you for Transformers and other similar money-making blockbusters.

  • gary james

    Some superb choices here for a sequel being better than the original,empire strikes back would my number one.Particularly like spiderman 2 over the original as well.Cant split teh alien movies,both classics.

    I thought superman 2 was a better movie than the original as well as was clint eastwoods a few dollars more.But these are just my opinions.