Studio heads are all about striking while the iron is hot - hence why they often begin preliminary work on a sequel well before a new tentpole release even hits theaters. Case in point: Warner Bros. is doing just that, seeing how the studio has hired on a screenwriter for Sherlock Holmes 3... even though the second installment in that series has yet to hit theaters.
It turns out the Holmes threequel isn't the only project Warner Bros. is getting a head start on; studio heads have also gotten the ball rolling on Clash of the Titans 3, even though the Titans sequel (Wrath of the Titans) won't hit theaters until Spring 2012.
Heat Vision has learned that two of the writers who worked on the screenplay for the second Clash of the Titans flick - namely, Dan Mazeau (who also worked on the upcoming Flash movie) and David Leslie Johnson (Red Riding Hood) - have been hired on by Warner Bros. to pen the treatment for a third installment in the ancient mythological adventure series.
Early word is that Clash of the Titans 3 will once again feature Perseus (Sam Worthington) as its protagonist. Wrath of the Titans also reportedly "leaves the door open" for Poseidon's demigod son Agenor (Toby Kebbell) to return in the third film. However, it is not yet clear whether either actor is already officially signed on to reprise their respective roles.
Wrath helmer Jonathan Liebesman is likewise expected to return for the (still-theoretical) third Titans movie, though an actual deal is not yet in place. The director is currently in the midst of post-production on the Titans sequel (which was designed for, but not shot in the 3D format) so it may be a while before we learn any concrete information about his potential involvement with the Titans threequel.
Director Louis Leterrier's 2010 Clash of the Titans remake cost about $125 million to produce and managed to gross some $493 million worldwide in theaters - thus, a sequel was pretty much a no-brainer for Warner Bros. However, a followup to Wrath of the Titans is arguably a horse of a different color.
Whereas the majority of moviegoers enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes movie and are seemingly quite-excited for the followup, the Titans remake was given an overall mediocre critical reception (and not just because of its infamously sloppy post-conversion 3D job). Wrath of the Titans is being talked up as a significant improvement on its predecessor in all respects, but most moviegoers are (for now) highly skeptical of that claim. As a result, the second Titans movie is much less of a surefire hit than the impending Holmes sequel.
On the other hand: general interest in a franchise-based property can change drastically, with just the release of an effective trailer (see: Rise of the Planet of the Apes for a recent example). If early footage unveiled from Wrath of the Titans manages to impress as much, then perhaps more people will actually start looking forward to the sequel... and thus, a third installment will seem less like a Warner Bros.' pipe dream.
Wrath of the Titans is slated to open in 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on March 30th, 2012.
We will keep you posted on the status of Clash of the Titans 3 as more information is released.