Clash of the Titans (2010 film)

Clash of the Titans is a 2010 Australian-American action fantasy film and remake of the 1981 film of the same name produced by MGM (the rights to which had been acquired by Warner Bros. in 1996). The story is very loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus.[2][3][4] Directed by Louis Leterrier and 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.[3][4] However, it was later announced that the film would be converted to 3D and was released on April 2, 2010.[5][6]

Clash of the Titans
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLouis Leterrier
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onClash of the Titans
by Beverley Cross
Music byRamin Djawadi
CinematographyPeter Menzies Jr.
Edited by
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • April 2, 2010 (2010-04-02) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$125 million[1]
Box office$493.2 million[1]

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, 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 order the queen's execution and locks the child in a chest with her corpse. In Zeus' retaliation, a lightning bolt struck the king that severely deforms him who throws the chest into the sea. Thereafter, Perseus was found and raised by fisherman Spyros and his wife Marmara.

13 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 slaughtered the soldiers as Hades appears and destroys the family's fishing vessel; Spyros and his family drown, with Perseus as the only survivor. Found by another group of soldiers, Perseus is brought before King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia, celebrating their campaign against the gods with their daughter Princess Andromeda who disapproves of her parents leading the city's rebellion. When Cassiopeia began boasting her daughter to the gods, the revelry is interrupted by Hades who exposed 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 gives 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 into killing Perseus. During the fight, Draco severs Calibos' hand, forcing him to retreat to a desert where his blood from the stump conjures giant scorpions to fight when the group gives chase. They were 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 were forced to reveal a weapon to defeat the Kraken to obtain 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, who 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 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.



Teide National Park (Tenerife) is the most visited national park in Europe[7] and one of the most visited in the world, and place of filming of some scenes from the movie.

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.[8] 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.[citation needed] 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.[9] 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".[10] Lawrence Kasdan and director Stephen Norrington signed on in 2007. Kasdan gave the script another rewrite from the Beacham version.[11] 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.[12] By June 2008 Leterrier joined the project and Warner Bros. greenlit the film.[13] 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.[14][15]

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.[16] Leterrier sought Ray Harryhausen's involvement,[12] and reunited with Hulk concept artist Aaron Sims, who had already been working on Clash of the Titans with Norrington.[17]

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.[18]

Sam Worthington took the role of Perseus because he wanted to make a Clash of the Titans for his nine-year-old nephew'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."[19] Worthington also did not wear sandals while filming; he instead painted toes on his sports shoes so he could perform the stunts better.[20]

According to actress Emma Thompson in a 2014 interview on The Graham Norton Show sitting alongside with 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.[21]

For the 2D to 3D conversion, Leterrier approached the studio early on about a 3D conversion, but it was expensive and very new technology.[22] 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.[23] Leterrier considered the 3D conversion to improve the viewing experience, and states that it should not be seen as a gimmick.[22]

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.[24]

Filming locationsEdit

Filming began April 27, 2009, near London, at Shepperton Studios, and also at Pinewood Studios and at Longcross Studios, near Chertsey, in Surrey.[25] 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.[26]

Filming of volcano scenes at the Harriet hole in Dinorwic Slate Quarry in Wales wrapped at the end of July.[27] This slate quarry has also been used for locations for Willow and Street Fighter.[28]


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.[3][4] 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.[5][6][29]

Critical receptionEdit

Clash of the Titans has received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticized the film for its use of 3D, flat characters, and divergences from the original film and the myth. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 27% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 263 reviews with an average rating of 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."[30] 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".[31] 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.[32]

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".[33] 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 biased by nostalgia for the original, and that 15 seconds of Bubo is enough for his tastes.[34] Colin Covert gave the film a mildly positive review, stating the film was "all flash, trash, and crash; a tasty hunk of baloney; mindless yet shamelessly thrilling." He considered Worthington to have a "Shatneresque heaviness about him", and found that all the laughs came from the fact that the heavyweight actors were "slumming through their roles".[35] 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."[36] 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.[37]

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."[38] 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".[39] 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.[40] Dan Kois blamed the director for making a "muddled disappointment" instead of a "camp classic that could have endured for generations". Kois also accused Leterrier of not knowing how to direct an action scene, and that the film is lacking in "wit and flair".[41] 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."[42]

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.[citation needed]

Box officeEdit

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).[1] The movie was #1 for two weeks in a row, edging out Date Night and the previous winner How to Train Your Dragon.[43] 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.[44]

Home videoEdit

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 Blu-ray 3D version of the film was also released and also comes packed with the 2D version, the DVD version and a Digital Copy.[45]

Video gameEdit

Namco Bandai & Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a video game adaptation of the movie on July 27, 2010, on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with the film's home video release. It was originally planned to come out in March 2010, though the game was delayed due to difficulties.


Production of a sequel titled Wrath of the Titans, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, began on March 23, 2011, with Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson returning to star and released on March 30, 2012.[46]

In November 2011, Warner Bros. hired Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson' who wrote Wrath of the Titans, to write and develop a sequel with Johnson announced a title called Revenge of the Titans but it was later cancelled.[47]


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  12. ^ a b "Leterrier parle de son Choc des Titans". July 12, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
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  15. ^ "News Etc". Empire. April 2008. pp. 15–16.
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  18. ^ Saint Seiya's Kurumada Draws Clash of the Titans Poster - Anime News Network|AU
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  20. ^ Wayland, Sara (March 27, 2010). "Sam Worthington Interview CLASH OF THE TITANS". Collider. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
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  24. ^ ‘Clash of the Titans’ Director Louis Leterrier Slags the Film’s Post-Converted 3D
  25. ^ IMDb: Most Popular Titles With Location Matching "Longcross Studios, Chobham Lane, Longcross, Surrey, England"
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  27. ^ Filming Clash of the Titans at Dinorwic – July 2009
  28. ^ Clash of the Titans Sticking with 2D Format
  29. ^ Estatuto de Autonomía de Canarias en la Página Web Oficial del Gobierno de Canarias Archived January 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
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  34. ^ Corliss, Richard (April 2, 2010). "Clash of the Titans: A Hit from a Myth". Time. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
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  41. ^ Koi, Dan (April 2, 2010). "A hero's quest? No, a fool's errand". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
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External linksEdit