It seems that Wrath of the Titans, the upcoming sequel to last year's Clash of the Titans remake will share the same distinction of its predecessor as a 3D-converted release, as opposed to being shot using 3D cameras. According to director Jonathan Liebesman, despite the resounding criticism Clash received for its hastily-thrown-together, last-minute 3D conversion, he insists that the decision was a result of an artistic choice to work with standard film for the sake of richer imagery. However, learning from the mistakes of Clash, the film will be shot with 3D very much in the mindset. Inheriting the director's chair from Clash's Louis Leterrier, Liebesman will be working on more fertile ground, story-wise and his vision for the film calls for a more up close and gritty, Gladiator-esque follow-up to the spectacle of digital effect-laden longshots that was the previous film. However, one must wonder if the decision to forgo 3D filming will end up proving fatal or will hit the creative jackpot.
According to Liebesman:
"The big question was to shoot native 3D or not," Liebesman said. "I tested a lot of digital cameras, and quite frankly, because I'm going for a sort of much grittier, grounded look in 'Clash 2,' the look I want is almost 'Gladiator' with fantastical creatures in it, I found that the characteristics of film were more what I was going for." Adding: "I'm comfortable with the conversion. But for the genre, I just feel like I have to shoot on film; I don't know, it just has that texture."
Liebesman's proclivity to standard film is something that was evident during the filming of next month's release, Battle: Los Angeles, in which he also opted to forgo shooting with 3D cameras. Even after tests with digital 3D Red cameras (the newest of which will be used on The Hobbit,) the results were not adequate for his film. In the case of Battle, which will display a shaky-cam pseudo-documentary style, 3D shooting would have created some undesirable, vertigo-inducing imagery. He also points to the fumbles of Clash of the Titans and recognizes how a rushed job can deep-six the process.
"I think what you have to remember is the first film was neither shot nor edited with 3D in mind. It was shot as a 2D movie and edited as a 2D film, and they decided to convert it with six or seven weeks to go until release, which is insane; the technology was not there. That's why we're conceiving it from the start, from the ground up, in 3D, editing in 3D for 3D."
So, with that in mind, I'd be inclined to take his word on the reasoning for his choice, rather than dismissing it as a way to spin budgetary constraints. In fact, Liebesman, originally skeptical of the conversion process, seems to have been "converted" himself after being shown by Warner Bros. how far the process of 3D conversion has come along just in the last few years. Clearly, Clash of the Titans has become the most prominent example of how not to carry-through the process and the lesson was well-learned after last Fall's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 nixed its 3D-converted release at the last minute, due to quality concerns. Now, with the second Deathly Hallows set for a quality 3D-converted release this summer (the first part will also see one, as well,) and of course, all six Star Wars movies getting the treatment starting in 2012 with the Lucas hype machine surely to be in full effect, 3D conversion just might have its reputation redeemed.
After hearing all of that, would you be inclined to give the grittier, 3D-converted sequel to Clash of the Titans a chance?