In the past few days, the remake of the Ray Harryhausen SFX film Clash of the Titans (US-1981; dir. Desmond Davis) has jumped up quite a few notches on my attention scale thanks to the release of an extended trailer that takes what was looking pretty good and makes it look spectacularly interesting — to me at least.
It’s not just the cool giant scorpions:
or the Gorgon with the extra-long serpentine body (a nicely traditional approach to a Naga-like creature):
or the Del Toroesque soothsayers:
or Pegasus or the harpies or even the über-titanic Orga*-like Kraken (though that has rather a lot to do with it):
There is something about this trailer that excites me in a way that the images and trailers of the critically acclaimed and reputedly excellent James Cameron scifi extravaganza Avatar haven’t managed to do, as interested as I am to see the film. What that something is I’m not sure — and I know it’s a mistake to assume too much from a trailer. But I simply get the impression that Clash of the Titans may be a remake that is totally justified and that director Louis Leterrier [hey, I thought his Incredible Hulk was spot-on] might have done a good job with it. The Harryhausen original has some of the stopmotion master’s best work, yet for me it never held together very well as a film, with a spectacular cast that pretty well does nothing except stand around and talk, and an overly static feel.
This remake is looking as though it might be not only visually excellent, with effectively created and well utilised CGI monsters, but also that it might have a coherent script — an addition that generally (by all indications) had a low priority in the production schedules of many of the blockbuster FX films of recent times. There’s even hint in the trailer of a theme. Of course, I could be wrong — but I can’t wait to find out!
If nothing else it gives hope that if rumours regarding a sequel to (or rather a re-boot of) the 1998 US version of Godzilla under the auspices of Legendary Pictures are true, the result may be better than Emmerich’s reasonably effective but Not-At-All-Like-Godzilla effort.
* Note: Orga is the name of the alien monster that Godzilla fights in Gojira ni-sen mireniamu [trans. Godzilla 2000 Millennium; aka Godzilla 2000 (US, 1999), Godzilla vs Orga] (1999; dir. Takao Okawara). Forget the tentacles; compare his head to that of the Kraken: