Clash of the Titans had it all: blockbuster production values, 3D visual FX, and a cast that included a handful of Oscar-nominees. So how can Clash of the Titans 2 (a.k.a Wrath of the Titans) possibly be an improvement on its predecessor? 😛

The early word is that two more acclaimed talents, Javier Bardem and James Franco, may be brought onboard to star in the second battle between mortals, monsters, and bearded deities, which has already begun pre-production and could begin filming in the first half of 2011.

Bardem won the Supporting Actor Oscar for his nightmare-inducing turn as Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men and could snag a lead actor nod for his performance in this year’s Biutiful. Franco is also likely to be nominated for his turn in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, so both he and Bardem currently qualify as in-demand talents. Production Weekly tweeted that Warner Bros. wants Bardem to play Ares, God of War, in Clash of the Titans 2, while Franco is the desired candidate to play the Phoenician king Agenor.

Franco’s name popped up on the rumor circuit last week in connection to The Bourne Legacy, though the actor is far from officially connected to either that project or the Titans sequel. While it’s always a pleasure to watch Bardem onscreen, we’re not sure how interested he is in joining the cast of a piece of big-budget Hollywood spectacle (though, if the pay is good, that could change).

While the 2D version of Clash of the Titans was generally regarded as a bit of mindless but otherwise harmless blockbuster fun, moviegoers across the board condemned the sloppy post-production 3D conversion job done on the film. Jonathan Liebsman (Battle: Los Angeles) is directing Clash of the Titans 2 and will shoot the project using 3D cameras and equipment, which guarantees the third dimension visuals will be a vast improvement on those in the first film.

A project that could potentially star Javier Bardem, James Franco, Liam Neeson, and Ralph Fiennes (assuming the latter two reprise their Titans roles for the sequel) would normally be something to get really excited for. Clash of the Titans 2, however? Let’s just hope the screenplay is a bit better this time around.

Clash of the Titans 2 will likely reach theaters by 2012.

Source: Production Weekly (via Cinematical)