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CLASH OF THE TITANS

A Hero's Journey
In the mythology of "Clash of the Titans,” man was created by the gods, and in turn his prayers provided the deities with immortality and strength. And, thanks to man's worship, the gods could rule over him. "It's a little bit of the carrot and the stick,” explains Leterrier, "but there's a little too much stick and not enough carrot. The humans are starting to rebel, so there's tension. They need each other, but at the same time, they are at odds.”

The hero of the film, Perseus, having just lost the only family he's ever known, is torn between the two worlds: that of man, in which he was raised, and the world of the gods, where many believe he belongs. Sam Worthington portrays the demigod who is reluctant to embrace, or even accept, his birthright as the son of Zeus.

"The actor playing Perseus had to have that rare combination of a great heart and a strong exterior,” asserts Leterrier. "Sam is one of the most wonderfully explosive actors I know, but what was most important to me is what he wanted to say through the character. He gave us a robust, determined, yet questioning Perseus, which is exactly what I felt the role required.”

Iwanyk offers, "When Sam walked into the room, we knew he was Perseus. We immediately liked him, and we liked the fact that he wanted to work hard as an actor, and understood what the role would require of him. There's both an intensity and a youthfulness to Sam. He's tough and he has an incredible physicality. You believe he has a god in him.”

"Perseus is a simple fisherman when you first meet him, he leads a simple life,” notes Worthington. "But circumstances throw him on this quest to avenge his family's death at the hands of the gods. Apart from the epic nature of the film, what really appealed to me was the idea of family—of fathers trying to reacquaint themselves with sons, sons wanting to know why fathers don't love them or why they rejected them, as well as brothers of a sort bonding on different levels.”

Iwanyk states, "Perseus is essentially collateral damage in the war between man and the gods. He stumbles into Argos, the cradle of civilization in ancient Greece, which is crumbling at the hands of the very gods who killed his family. And that's where he discovers who he really is.”

Perseus' refusal to acknowledge his Olympian side was an important factor for Worthington, who says he "didn't want Perseus to have to be a god in order to succeed. I think the fact that he rejects it, that he wants to do everything as a man, is a good message. He doesn't like bullies, which is how he sees the gods, and he thinks enough's enough; someone's got to take a stand and it may as well be him. He starts off quite petulant and bombastic of course, but he'll have to grow up and learn to accept his birthright if he's going to survive.”

One character who doesn't appreciate Perseus' independence is his natural father and king of the gods, Zeus, who feels that Perseus should not only want, but should ask for, his help. Having been accustomed to unquestioning love from his own creation—humanity— Zeus is uncertain as to how to deal with its wavering devotion and mounting uprisings. "Zeus, more than any other god, loves humans,” says Leterrier. "He created them, and he is torn because he loves them so much he doesn't want to strike them with all his might and destroy entire armies. So he has found cunning ways to get them to obey…but the times are changing.”

It doesn't help that his brother Hades, lord of the underworld, is pressing Zeus to allow him to handle things in his own way. Esteemed actor Liam Neeson, who took on the role of the conflicted king of Olympus, explains the delicate relationship. "Eons ago, Zeus, Hades and their brother, Poseidon, took control of the universe from their parents, the Titans,” says Neeson. "Zeus took over the hea

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