Five years ago, it may have seemed like director Jonathan Liebesman was destined to be stuck doing horror movies after directing Darkness Falls, the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” prequel and the short film “Rings” (bridging the gap between The Ring and its sequel). He even directed a smaller horror movie called The Killing Room, which debuted at Sundance in 2009.
None of those things could have prepared anyone for what Liebesman could do when put in charge of a larger scale movie like last year’s Battle: Los Angeles, which pitted a platoon of Marines against an alien invasion. Just over a year later and Liebesman is at the helm of Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to the 2010 blockbuster remake which is just as big as Battle: LA in terms of action and spectacle, only this time set in Ancient Greek times.
Sam Worthington is back as Perseus, once again having his life disrupted by the Greek Gods, particularly his father Zeus (Liam Neeson) and uncle Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the latter resorting to desperate means to stay relevant among those who have stopped praying to them. Hades hatches a plan to use his brother’s power to revive their father, the Titan Kronos, in hopes of causing enough terror in humans that they’d pray to the Gods for help. In order to save his captured father, Perseus has to face his half-brother Ares (Edgar Ramirez) as well as harrowing gauntlet of new creatures including the fierce Chimera, deadly Cyclops, a Minotaur as well as Kronos himself, this time joined by Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Poseidon’s son Argenor (Toby Kebbell) and the fallen God Hephaestus (Bill Nighy).
Last week, ComingSoon.net had a chance to talk to the filmmaker whose career has been a textbook case of how a director can have early success and then overcome a series of obstacles to have a second wind.
In the exclusive video interview below, we spoke with Liebesman about:
* The overlap with Battle: Los Angeles
* Developing the new creatures for “Wrath”
* Tacking a sequel to a movie that got a mixed reaction
* What he liked about the first movie he wanted to bring more of to the sequel
* How his asst. director Terry Needham was invaluable in the big action scenes
* The combination of location work, sets and CG environments
* I make the mistake of bringing up “John Carter” as an example of them having more time for CG post-production–they shot their movie nearly a year before “Wrath”–and we almost derail the interview
* More on the creatures, the fact they’re more humanoid and the techniques used to create them
* Being able to get away from the stigmas of being a “remake”
* How he approached the Gods as superheroes
* Whether Tarsem’s “Immortals” took some of the thunder out of “Wrath”
* We chat about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–you may have read this bit here–and the Julius Caesar project Liebesman is developing with “Clash” producer Basil Iwanyk which he compares to Patton
Wrath of the Titans opens nationwide in 2D, 3D and 3D IMAX theaters on Friday, March 30. Look for our interview with actor Toby Kebbell later this week.