Movie Cycles: Sword-and-Sandal Epics Are Back

June 26, 2008–Relativity Media and Warner are competing on rival sword-and-sandal sagas. The Greek mythology clash got under way when Relativity Media paid mid-six against seven figures for “War of Gods,” a script by Charley and Vlas Parlapanides that will be directed by Tarsem Singh.

Meanwhile, Warner signed “The Incredible Hulk” director Louis Leterrier to direct its Lawrence Kasdan-scripted remake of “Clash of the Titans.”

While the subject matter of the pictures is different, each shares a preoccupation with Greek mythology.

Warner greenlit “Clash of the Titans” right after landing Leterrier. And Relativity, which is fully financing “War of Gods,” has fast-tracked its picture to start production by years end. Both pictures will use the greenscreen techniques that gave “300” its look.

“War of Gods” is a mythological tale set in war-torn ancient Greece, as the young warrior prince Theseus leads his men in a battle against evil that will see the gods fighting with soldiers against demons and titans.

In “Clash of the Titans,” Perseus, the son of Zeus, must overcome a series of obstacles to save his beloved Princess Andromeda, including cutting off the serpent-tressed head of Medusa, who can turn a man to stone with a single glance.

The original 1981 “Clash of the Titans” starred Harry Hamlin as Perseus and Laurence Olivier as Zeus but is best remembered for the visual effects that brought to life Medusa, the Kraken and other creatures.

“War of Gods” is a co-production between “300” partners Gianni Nunnari of Hollywood Gang Prods. and Mark Canton, both of whom will produce with Relativitys Ryan Kavanaugh.

Singh, a director of commercials and videos, has directed “The Cell” and “The Fall.” French helmer Leterrier rose from second unit director of “The Transporter” to direct “Transporter 2” and “Danny the Dog” before helming “The Incredible Hulk” for Marvel Studios and Universal.