Warner Bros. To Clash
With Harryhausen Fans
On June 3, Variety
reported that Warner Bros. has hired a writing team to pen a remake
of the Charles Schneer/Ray Harryhausen mythological epic Clash
of the Titans.
The original, which
premiered in 1981, brought the Harryhausen experience to a new generation
of kids who were too young to see the Sinbad franchise or
any other masterpiece in the Harryhausen catalogue on the big screen.
Being among that crowd, I fondly recall the exhilaration and fear
I felt watching the many "Dynamation" creatures so painstakingly
brought to life to do battle with Perseus in the arena of the Gods.
Who could forget the Kracken rising out of the sea or the hellish
vision of Medusa slithering out of the shadows of her torchlit layer?
The new version will
no doubt employ CGI to create a world where men and monsters lock
horns in mortal combat at the whim of petty gods. This will likely
give another shake to the hornets nest of debate over CGI
vs. traditional effects animation.
Perhaps this is all
much ado about nothing. After all, this would not be the first time
a Harryhausen film got a modern update. In 2000, NBC aired a small
screen version of Jason and the Argonauts. But a movie of
the week is one thing. If Clash is slated for theatrical
release, its is much more likely to have fans of the original in
tackled Journey to the Center of the Earth for Fox 2000 and
most recently, a new take on The Warriors for MTV and Paramount,
writers Travis Wright and John Glenn are becoming seasoned pros
in remake game. And while theyre busy re-crafting known commodities,
Their Glenn-Wright Productions is currently recruiting other writers
to help develop their original stories. As daunting as their job
on Clash may be, it is not nearly as delicate as that of
any CGI animators charged with the Herculean task of outdoing Uncle
Ray. And while Clash may not be regarded as Harryhausens
best film, it holds a special place in the pantheon of fantasy filmdom
and in the hearts of fans worldwide. Youd be hard pressed
to find one artist eager to paint over one of Picassos lesser
of the Apes, Red Dragon (previously produced as Manhunter)
for some reason, Hollywood feels the need to remake films that still
hold up today, and in most cases, surpass their remakes on every
level. Meanwhile, there have been plenty of movies with good ideas
that were poorly executed. Perhaps the Titans of Tinseltown should
set their sights on those properties instead.
A special edition
DVD of the original Clash of the Titans is scheduled for
an Aug. 6, 2002 release by Warner Bros.