Warner Bros.' Clash of the Titans remake was a hit at the box office in 2010 - despite (at best) lukewarm feelings towards the 3D mythological adventure - and so, two years later, the studio rolled out a second installment in the shape of Wrath of the Titans, and started developing a third chapter in the saga of Perseus (Sam Worthington). Wrath of the Titans was given a (slightly) warmer critical reaction than Clash, but the franchise suffered a substantial drop off in worldwide gross between movies ($493 million to $305 million), and has since laid dormant.
The ancient world/swords and sandal sub-genre will be back in full-force in 2014, with the release of titles like Renny Harlin's The Legend of Hercules starring Kellan Lutz, Brett Ratner's Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson and Noam Murro's 300: Rise of an Empire (with Lena Headey reprising as Queen Gorgo) - if those films perform well financially, will that give WB incentive to pull the Clash of the Titans brand off the bench and put it back in the blockbuster game?
Not likely, according to Titans producer Basil Iwanyk. Indeed, although Wrath was a profitable endeavor (it doubled its $150 million budget in theaters), the abundance of mythological tentpoles - coupled with a lack of fresh ideas - accounts for the lack of progress on Clash of the Titans 3.
When IGN asked Iwanyk if that will change in the foreseeable future, he replied:
"Not at this point, but you never know. In terms of Clash of the Titans 3, it's one of those situations where we've seen it a million times; a movie will kind of float away and then come back when it's supposed to come back. You'd think that there was three and a half, four years of nonstop Clash of the Titans activity, and I think it is, "Okay, what's the new idea? How do you make it fresh?" You know, a lot of movies have come out in that world, including Immortals and 300. So there will be a time and place where someone will come up with a great idea for it and how to make it feel different and fresh from the previous ones. Then we'll hopefully move forward on that."
In the meantime, Iwanyk is producing director Alex Proyas' Gods of Egypt - starring 300's Gerard Butler and Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - for a 2016 release, so he won't be bidding farewell to Hollywood mythological fare anytime soon.
Iwanyk describes Gods of Egypt as "not stylized like 300," while claiming that the tone will be closer to the cheeky mood of the Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises - less the serious vibe of Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans, which is where those films get their camp value from.
Clash of the Titans 3 was reported to have begun development - even before the second movie opened in theaters - under the care of Wrath co-writers David Leslie Johnson and Dan Mazeau, but it's possible that WB studio heads wanted them to deliver a third chapter more in line with Gods of Egypt - as a means for re-inventing the Titans franchise after the drop in popularity for past movies. Thus, Johnson and Mazeau were either unable to meet those demands and/or produce a story for a third installment that inspired confidence in its ability to halt the series' trend of diminishing returns.
At this stage, Clash of the Titans 3 is all the less likely to happen, since moviegoers have moved on after two underwhelming installments. For his part, Sam Worthington will set to work on James Cameron's next three Avatar movies in 2014 - so, he certainly isn't holding his breath, waiting for his chance to reprise as Perseus.
Do you still want to see Clash of the Titans 3 - or had you forgotten that this film was even a possibility?