Don’t let anyone say making movies is a glamorous process. On the Wales set of the big-budget action remake “Clash of the Titans,” star Sam Worthington stood in a bulky rain slicker, his face smeared with mud, waiting to dive back into yet another scene on location in a soggy, windswept environment that won’t soon be enticing the Hollywood glitterati for getaway weekends.
Extras in grimy armor milled about, wearing sandals and carrying spears, while camels clattered by and breathtaking stone ruins loomed above on lush green hills. The day’s shoot included a grand battle scene in a crumbling, fire-pocked temple and gritty sword-to-shield combat under the unforgiving U.K. elements. It was all in the quest to transform the 1981 original — a film Worthington called “a bit soft and a bit camp” — into a contemporary, gritty saga about ancient badassery.
“Even though we shot on locations that are big and epic themselves, you put that together with cutting-edge CG, it should give an exciting ride,” Worthington told MTV News, which got the first-ever look at the “Titans” set for Friday’s (September 4) episode of “Behind the Screen.”
The film is loosely based on the Greek legend of Perseus — the “bastard son of Zeus,” Worthington explained of his character. “His family gets slaughtered, and he goes on a revenge spree.”
That spree includes butting heads with snake-haired Medusa, battling a massive sea monster and contending with the aforementioned fiery temple and sword-brandishing baddies. Liam Neeson plays Zeus, Ralph Fiennes is underworld overlord Hades and other castmembers include Liam Cunningham, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicholas Hoult and Gemma Arterton.
The production spent six weeks on the sun-drenched island of Tenerife — “Margaritas for breakfast!” Cunningham laughed — before shifting to the less sunny Wales location. The island getaway proved to be a bonding experience for the cast, even if they still didn’t agree about the quality of the first “Titans.”
“I saw the original, and I’m a big fan,” Hoult said. “I love the stop-motion.”
Arterton also counts herself as an ardent “Titans” fangirl after countless childhood viewings with her family. Worthington, of course, found 1981’s effort, which he watched before shooting began on the remake, more than a little lacking. But that’s the reason they’re making a new “Titans.”
“It sounds like a reasonable, good idea to remake a film where it’s the same kind of story, but you actually have big increases in the capacity of what computers can do today,” Mikkelsen said.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Clash of the Titans.”
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