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WRATH OF THE TITANS

Action And Arms
"Wrath of the Titans" includes numerous epic action sequences featuring hundreds of characters fighting, with a wide range of weapons at their disposal. Stunt coordinator Paul Jennings and supervising armourer Nick Komornicki both worked on the first film, and were eager to pick up where they left off, while upping the ante.

"You get to play with huge monsters and have big fights and jump around and pretend to be gods," Jennings says. "It's exciting and it's great fun."

Jennings also enjoyed teaming with Sam Worthington again. "Sam is terrific with action and loves to do his own stunts, and he brings a lot of his own ideas, which helps us create compelling sequences."

This time around, though, Perseus has been living a peaceful, fight-free life, so Worthington and the filmmakers wanted to play him as a bit of a "rusty gunslinger. He hasn't fought for ten years, his punches aren't as efficient as they once were and he's not as adept at swordsmanship as he used to be," the actor observes. "I liked that he has a little catching up to do, it brought a different dynamic to it and it was more fun for me to play. Every punch he takes and every punch he gives hurts. He's William Munny, but at 35."

"Sam is an incredibly skillful physical actor who will throw himself against rocks, take after take, and never complain," Liebesman laughs.

"Sam wants the action to be in his face as much as possible," Iwanyk agrees. "The tougher it is, the more motivated he gets, and you feel it. He's up for anything, and that empowers us as filmmakers, and sets a great tone for the rest of the cast and crew."

"I think audiences demand it nowadays," Worthington offers, "and I want the audience to stay with me and the film for the whole ride, so I try to do as much as I possibly can without hurting myself."

Fortunately, Perseus did have some weapons to aid him, including the sword he carried on his quest years ago, as well as a small wooden dagger carved by his own son, Helius, which he brings along for luck. Komornicki and his team provided the soldiers and gods with over 1500 arms as well, including a variety made from lightweight aluminum, rubber, or metal inlay, and also created the large working trebuchets for the final battle scene.

A special sword was created for the god of war. "It had a very traditional, Bronze Age Greek blade," Komornicki says. "On the handle were the symbols for Ares: the eagle and the woodpecker. Overall, it was fairly simple, rough and ready, something that should look like it's been through a lot of battles." The god also carries a fearsome piece dubbed "Ares' War Mace," which Komornicki describes as having "a large stone top, a bronze mace shaft and a spike in the bottom." The film's most important weapon is the symbolic and deadly Spear of Triam. Comprised of three individual pieces Hepaestus forged for the gods, it consists of Zeus' thunderbolt, Poseidon's trident and Hades' pitchfork. It is the only instrument ever known to have defeated Kronos, and Perseus must somehow gather all three pieces in order to have a chance against the Titan this time around.

In order to be more functional, Komornicki relates, "All three of the gods' weapons can be shrunk down to small baton versions, so that if the god is not in a dangerous situation and doesn't need the big fighting version, he can have a compact one to carry around." Each one also had its own distinct qualities. "Hades' pitchfork wouldn't be shiny; it had to look a bit dirty and aged. Poseidon's trident also had to appear aged and as though it's been in sea water for a long time. Zeus' thunderbolt was the trickiest to design, because it had to evoke that lightning shape, but be more practical than that would actually be."

To enhance the moviegoers' experience of the stunts and swordplay, the filmmakers chose to utilize a far more modern-day tool: 3D.

"We conceived the movie for 3D, choreographing shots and consulting our on-set stereographer between takes to ensure that we'd be able to use the technology to our greatest advantage," Liebesman states.

"We were very careful at every stage to prolong shots, make the movement more dynamic, and avoid quick cuts," director of photography Ben Davis elaborates. "With that in mind, and because we'd be converting in post, we were still able to shoot in Jonathan's style, with lots of camera movement and handheld camera work, which we couldn't have done with 3D cameras."

Davis was also happy to be shooting on film, rather than in high definition. "If this had been a contemporary piece, then HD might have worked. But it's a Greek epic. I wanted the texture and sensibility and realism that you get with film."

Polly Johnsen says, "Every choice we made in the scripting and planning stages took the look and feel and 3D elements of the film into account, so that we could bring moviegoers a thrilling, emotional, edge-of-your seat experience in the theater."

"People go to the movies to be transported to worlds they've only dreamed about," Basil Iwanyk says. "I think that, with our creatures and our action and our scope and scale, it's going to be exciting and immersive. The monsters and the fire and the dust and ash of the atmosphere are going to come right out into the audience. It'll be crazy fun."

Jonathan Liebesman adds, "When Kronos comes out of the screen, with comets of lava flying off of him, you'll feel as though he's coming right for you."

At the same time, the director reflects, "There are a lot of powerful, emotional themes going through the movie which I hope will speak to people, and all of that happens in the midst of this epic war between mortals and gods and monsters."

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