Clash of the Titans is a United States fantasy action media franchise based on characters and myths of Ancient Greek mythology. The first film, Clash of the Titans, was released in 1981 with a remake made in 2010. The remake spawned a sequel, Wrath of the Titans, in 2012.
Original: Clash of the Titans (1981)
The story of the film essentially mimics that of the original myth; but with multiple alterations in detail.
At the beginning of the film, King Acrisius of Argos (Donald Houston) imprisons his daughter Danaë (Vida Taylor) to avert a prophecy that he would die if his daughter had a son. When the god Zeus (Laurence Olivier) impregnates her, Acrisius sends his daughter and his newborn grandson Perseus to sea in a wooden coffin. In retribution, Zeus kills Acrisius and orders Poseidon (Jack Gwillim), to release a Kraken to destroy Argos. Meanwhile, Danaë and Perseus safely float to the island of Seriphos, where Perseus grows to adulthood.
Calibos (Neil McCarthy), son of the sea goddess Thetis (Maggie Smith), is a young man engaged to marry Princess Andromeda (Judi Bowker), the daughter of Queen Cassiopeia (Siân Phillips) and heir to the rich city of Joppa; but has destroyed diverse creatures including most of Zeus’s flying horses (excepting only Pegasus). To punish him, Zeus transforms Calibos into a satyr-like creature later exiled by his people, whereupon Thetis, in revenge, transports Perseus (Harry Hamlin) from Seriphos to Joppa, where he learns that Andromeda cannot marry unless her suitor successfully answers a riddle, whose failures are burned at the stake. Perseus, wearing a helmet that renders its wearer invisible, captures Pegasus and follows Andromeda to learn a new riddle from Calibos. Perseus is nearly killed by Calibos but escapes, losing his helmet in the process.
Perseus presents himself as suitor and Calibos’s severed hand with a gold ring on one of the fingers as the answer to the riddle, and wins Andromeda’s hand in marriage. Calibos, finding that Thetis cannot act against Perseus, instead demands that she take vengeance on Joppa. At the wedding, Queen Cassiopeia compares Andromeda’s beauty to that of Thetis herself, whereupon Thetis demands Andromeda be sacrificed to the Kraken on pain of Joppa’s destruction.
Perseus seeks a way to defeat the Kraken, while Pegasus is captured by Calibos and his men. Zeus commands Athena (Susan Fleetwood) to give Perseus her owl Bubo; but she orders Hephaestus (Pat Roach) to build a mechanical replica of Bubo instead, who leads Perseus to the Stygian Witches (Flora Robson, Anna Manahan, and Freda Jackson). By taking their magic eye Perseus forces them to reveal that the only way to defeat the Kraken is by using the head of Medusa the Gorgon, who in this version lives at the edge of the Underworld.
There, Perseus kills Medusa’s canine guardian Dioskilos, who slays one of Perseus’s companions; whereas two others die on encounter with Medusa herself. Perseus uses the reflective underside of his shield to deceive Medusa, decapitates her, and collects her head; but the shield is dissolved by her blood. As Perseus and his party set to return, Calibos enters their camp and punctures the cloak carrying Medusa’s head, causing her blood to produce giant scorpions. Most of the men are killed; but Perseus slays the last scorpion and thereafter kills Calibos.
Weakened by his struggle, Perseus sends Bubo to bring Pegasus; this Bubo does, and later diverts the Kraken until Perseus appears on Pegasus. In the subsequent battle, Bubo and Perseus use Medusa’s head to turn the Kraken into stone, and free Andromeda.
The gods predict that Perseus and Andromeda will live happily, rule wisely, and produce children, and Zeus forbids the other gods to pursue vengeance against them. The likenesses of Perseus, Andromeda, Pegasus, and Cassiopeia appear as constellations.
Remake Series: Clash of the Titans (2010)
In ancient times, the gods led by Zeus (Liam Neeson), Poseidon (Danny Huston) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) betrayed their parents, the Titans, and banished them to the Underworld with the help of the Kraken, a sea monster born of Hades. The gods divided the Universe among themselves; Zeus took the skies, Poseidon took the seas, and Hades, tricked by Zeus, was left with the Underworld. The gods created the mortals, whose faith in them assured their immortality. However, as time passed, mortals began to question them.
A fisherman by name of Spyros (Pete Postlethwaite) finds a casket afloat in the sea, bearing a baby still living and clasped in the arms of his mother’s corpse. Spyros and his wife Marmara (Elizabeth McGovern) raise the baby as their own and name him “Perseus”.
Years later, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is fishing with his family when they witness soldiers from the city of Argos destroying a statue of Zeus. The gods, infuriated at this desecration, unleash the Furies – flying beasts who pursue mortal sinners. The soldiers are attacked and slaughtered by the Furies. The Furies merge and take the form of Hades, who destroys the ship Perseus and his family are on. His family perishes, but Perseus survives and is found by other survivors, soldiers from Argos led by Draco (Mads Mikkelsen).
Perseus is brought before King Cepheus (Vincent Regan) and Queen Cassiopeia (Polly Walker) who are celebrating the campaign against the gods. The revelry is cut short by the arrival of Hades, who has been given leave by Zeus to punish the mortals for their defiance of the gods. Hades proclaims that in the upcoming solar eclipse, he will unleash the Kraken against Argos unless the Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) is offered as a sacrifice. Before leaving, he reveals that Perseus is a demigod, the son of Zeus.
Perseus is imprisoned by Draco and in captivity meets Io (Gemma Arterton) who tells him of his origin. Many years before, King Acrisius (Jason Flemyng) also tried declaring war against the gods. To punish him, Zeus impersonated Acrisius and impregnated his wife, Queen Dänae (Tine Stapelfeldt). Acrisius, driven mad with rage, orders the execution of Dänae and the newborn baby and casts them into the sea in a coffin. As punishment for his continued defiance, Zeus also strikes Acrisius with lightning, transforming him into a monster. Io also reveals that she was cursed with immortality after refusing to give in to Poseidon’s advances and has watched over Perseus his entire life, beginning with watching from ashore as his adoptive parents rescue him from the floating coffin, to the present, always protecting him, as he is prophesized to be the only one able to stand up to the Gods.
As the Cult of Hades, led by the insane Prokopion (Luke Treadaway), grows in number and demands Andromeda’s sacrifice, a desperate Kepheus asks Perseus to lead the King’s Guard to visit the Stygian Witches in order to discover a way to kill the Kraken. Perseus — wishing to avenge the death of his family — accepts. Perseus and the guards head off on their quest joined by hunters, Ozal (Ashraf Barhom) and Kucuk (Mouloud Achour). Hades, in hopes of stopping Perseus, finds Acrisius, now known as Calibos, and grants him superhuman abilities in exchange for Calibos assuring Perseus will die before he reaches the Witches.
Zeus is convinced by Apollo (Luke Evans ), who doesn’t trust Hades, to give Perseus a chance and presents him with an enchanted sword forged on Mt. Olympus and a winged horse named Pegasus. Perseus refuses both gifts but a wise Draco puts the sword into safekeeping. Shortly thereafter, they are attacked by Calibos. Perseus barely manages to hold him at bay and is bitten by Calibos in a desperate move. Draco severs Calibos’s hand causing Calibos to flee. The band gives chase only to be attacked by giant scorpions summoned by Calibos’s blood. Although they manage to kill some of them, they are ultimately surrounded by even larger scorpions until they are saved by the Djinn, a band of Arabic desert sorcerers led by Sheik Suleiman (Ian Whyte). The Djinn, also wishing for the gods’ defeat, lends their aid to Perseus and his hand.
The group arrives at the lair of the Stygian Witches and learns from them that the only possibility for killing the Kraken is with the head of a gorgon Medusa who is residing in a temple in the Underworld. Medusa is able to turn any living creature into stone by making eye contact, and thus capturing her head is essential for battling the Kraken. As they prepare to head into the Underworld, Perseus is approached by Zeus, who offers to make him a god, but when he refuses, gives him a golden drachma which is a fare for Charon, the ferryman of the Underworld.
Perseus, Io, Sulieman, Draco and his remaining men Solon (Liam Cunningham ), Eusebius (Nicholas Hoult) and Ixas (Hans Matheson) arrive at the Underworld and the men enter Medusa’s lair while Io remains outside, unable to enter. Medusa (Natalia Vodianova) kills Solon, (who was shot and falls into the fire), Eusebius and Ixas (who have turned to stone), and wounds the shot Draco. Sulieman and Draco wound Medusa and turn to stone, making the ultimate sacrifice. The badly wounded Medusa is beheaded by Perseus, who takes her head. The rest of the body falls into the fire. As he is leaving the temple, he witnesses Calibos creep up behind and murder Io. Perseus and Calibos engage in mortal combat with Calibos having the upper hand and disarming Perseus. Finally coming to terms with who he is, Perseus picks up the Olympian sword and pierces Calibos through the heart, turning him back into Acrisius in human form restoring him to sanity and humility for one last moment.
After saying his goodbyes to the dying Io, who urges him forward to save Andromeda and Argos before she dissolves into an ethereal vapor, Perseus mounts Pegasus and hastens back to Argos. In the meantime, Zeus has ordered the Kraken’s release. The Cult goes to the palace and seizes Andromeda in order to offer her to the Kraken. While Kraken ravages Argos, Hades reveals to Zeus that while they have been surviving on the people’s adoration, he has been feeding on people’s fear and his monster has been channeling even more fear. While the gods have become weaker, Hades has now grown powerful enough to take on Mount Olympus and even destroy it in revenge for his betrayal so many years before. Realizing his mistake too late, Zeus can only rely on Perseus.
In Argos, Hades unleashes the Furies against Perseus and they manage to snag away from him the sack holding Medusa’s head. In an intense aerial chase with Perseus riding Pegasus, he manages to retrieve the bag, just in time for the Kraken to fully emerge. The Kraken causes massive damage to Argos before heading to devour Andromeda. Before the Kraken is able to eat Andromeda, Perseus races to open the bag, unveil the head of Medusa and face it to the Kraken, who makes eye contact, slowly turning it into stone. The massive statue cracks and the falling debris kills Prokopion and Kepheus, while Andromeda falls into the sea. Hades appears to confront Perseus. Perseus in defiance raises his sword to the heavens and calling upon Zeus, throws his sword at Hades. A lightning bolt engulfs the sword and banishes Hades to the Underworld once more.
Perseus dives in to the sea and rescues Andromeda, now the Queen of Argos. She asks him to stay by her side as King, but he claims he is not a leader, but simply a man. Her people will respect her as their Queen. After flying away with Pegasus, Perseus arrives on the island where Zeus’s statue was destroyed, and where his family was killed. Zeus meets with him, thanks Perseus for risking so much, and offers once more to make him a god and live with him on Mt. Olympus. Perseus declines, saying he has every thing he needs on earth in his mortal form. As Zeus leaves, he says Perseus needs a companion, and his parting gift is to revive and present Io. Perseus and Io approach one another to embrace.
Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Ten years after he defeated the Kraken, Perseus, the demigod son of Zeus, now lives as a fisherman with his 10-year-old son, Helius. One night, Perseus is visited by Zeus, who tells him that the powers of the gods are fading and the walls of the underworld prison of Tartarus are breaking due to the lack of devotion from humans and states they will need the world’s armies to combat the potential threat, but Perseus shows little interest and refuses to get involved. Afterwards, Zeus travels to Tartarus to meet with his brothers Hades and Poseidon, and his son Ares. He tells Hades they must forget the past and unite to rebuild Tartarus, but Hades orders his minions to attack. They severely injure Poseidon, and Ares betrays Zeus over showing Perseus more affection, taking him prisoner and stealing his thunderbolt. Hades and Ares plan to drain Zeus’ power to revive their father Kronos in exchange for the two to remain immortal.
The walls of Tartarus break, unleashing monsters into the world. One of these monsters, a Chimera, attacks Perseus’ village, and after bringing out his old sword and armour, Perseus fights and kills the Chimera. He then takes Helius to the Mount of Idols, so they can speak to Zeus, but the dying Poseidon arrives instead. He informs Perseus that Hades and Ares are holding Zeus in Tartarus, and tells him to meet with his demigod son Agenor to find the fallen god Hephaestus, who knows the way into Tartarus. Poseidon gives Perseus his trident before succumbing to his injuries and crumbling into dust.
Perseus flies on the Pegasus to the camp site of Queen Andromeda’s army. Andromeda has imprisoned Agenor for stealing crown jewels, but Perseus has him released. Perseus, Andromeda, Agenor, and a group of soldiers set out at sea to find Hephaestus, with Agenor explaining that Hephaestus created the three great weapons that Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon wield: Zeus’ Thunderbolt, Hades’ Pitchfork, and Poseidon’s Trident, and that together they form the Spear of Triam, the only weapon that can defeat Kronos. Agenor uses Poseidon’s trident to direct the boat to Hephaestus’s island, where they encounter three Cyclopes who attack them. When Perseus shows them the trident, they lead the group to Hephaestus who explains that he has a map to navigate the path into Tartarus. He leads them to the door into the Labyrinth, where they are attacked by Ares after a soldier prayed for him to come. Ares kills most of the soldiers while Hephaestus opens the door. Hephaestus then sacrifices himself so that Perseus, Andromeda, and Agenor can enter the door before it closes. Agenor tries to use the map to direct them, but the labyrinth continually shifts. Perseus gets cut off from the group and encounters and kills a Minotaur. Eventually, The group reunites at Tartarus.
Meanwhile, Zeus has been almost entirely drained of power and close to death as Kronos starts to awaken. Zeus apologizes to Hades and asks his forgiveness as he forgives Hades for his actions. Hades has a change of heart and finally decides to help Zeus and the human army, but Ares intervenes. Perseus arrives and uses the trident to free Zeus. As they are escaping, Ares throws Hades’s pitchfork into Zeus’s back.
Perseus, Andromeda, and Agenor carry a weakened Zeus down to the base of the mountain where Andromeda’s army is gathered. Perseus combines the trident and Hades’ pitchfork, but he still needs Zeus’s thunderbolt, which Ares still has. Perseus prays to Ares, challenging him to a fight at the Temple of Gods, which Ares accepts. At the temple, Perseus finds out Ares has kidnapped Helius, who brought him to watch Perseus die. Ares easily subdues Perseus, but is distracted when Helius tries to challenge him by pointing a sword at him, giving Perseus the opportunity to subdue him. Perseus then destroys Ares with Zeus’s Thunderbolt and combines the gods’ weapons into the Spear of Triam. Meanwhile, Andromeda’s army is subdued by Kronos’ army of Makhai, but a redeemed Hades and a revived Zeus use what power they have left to defeat the army, who have murdered almost all of Andromeda’s men. Kronos then appears and starts to destroy them, in which Zeus and Hades defend them and at the same time are giving Perseus the opportunity to fly right down Kronos’ throat. Kronos lets out one last blast, and Zeus takes the brunt of the force to protect Hades. Perseus throws the Spear into Kronos’ stomach, destroying him once and for all.
Perseus meets with Zeus and Hades. Zeus commends Perseus for his courage, stating that the time of the gods is over before turning to dust. Hades is now human, though he states he might be better as one before walking away. Perseus reunites with Andromeda and kisses her, and then decides to train Helius to be a soldier.
First Published: Dec 26, 2012 – Last Updated: Jan 27, 2013