Louis Leterrier Now Feels Free to Call the 3D for CLASH OF THE TITANS “Absolutely Horrible”

     May 28, 2013


It’s amazing how honest a director can be about a film as long as they’re not busy promoting it.  Louis Leterrier‘s Clash of the Titans was one of the first movies to get a 3D post-conversion following the massive success of Avatar.  It was a rush-job and it showed.  When it came time to do press for the film, Leterrier admitted to being hesitant about the post-conversion, but when he saw the final product, it “looked like exactly what it looked like on set. I like the interactivity of it.”

But now that Leterrier is out doing press for his new movie, Now You See Me, he felt free to reverse his stance on the universally panned 3D for Clash of the Titans.  Hit the jump for his quote.

louis-leterrier-now-you-see-me-set-photoFirst, here’s what Leterrier said to us back in 2010:

At what point did they approach you about turning the film into 3-D?

LOUIS LETERRIER: I approached them and we talked about it, early on. And then, we said, “Who knows how Avatar will do?” Most of the conversion 3-D technology was not ripe. It was very expensive. The movie was finished and I’d done a longer version of the edit, which I screened for the studio, and they really liked the movie. Then, Avatar came out and they said, “Remember that discussion that we had? Well, we’d like to do the 3-D conversion.” I was like, “Yes, but we talked about it a long time ago. It’s expensive and it doesn’t work, so why?” And they were like, “No, there’s a new technology, View-D by Prime Focus. You should try it ’cause it’s amazing.”

I really was skeptical, but I tested it and it was unbelievable. It looked like exactly what it looked like on set. I like the interactivity of it. It’s not like you press a button and then it’s done and you cannot do anything. I was giving them actual measurements. It was interactive. It’s fantastic. My fear in converting it to 3-D is that people will say, “Oh, it’s the 3-D Clash of the Titans.” No, it’s Clash of the Titans, the movie, and then, on top of that, you have the 3-D conversion. The 2-D movie works as well as the 3-D movie. I want to make sure that people like the 2-D version. It’s not a gimmick. It actually improves the viewing experience, but the movie stands on its own.

clash-of-the-titans-louis-leterrier-gemma-arterton-set-photoBut speaking to The Huffington Post, he had this to say about Clash of the Titans‘ 3D:

LETERRIER: It was a very tough experience. I was literally thrown under the bus for something that … I still have a good relationship with Warner Bros., but at one point it was like, “Yeah, Louis chose the 3D.” And I was like, “No, guys, I didn’t choose the 3D. I actually told you it’s not working. I couldn’t control it. I said don’t do it.”

The 3D on “Clash of the Titans” was famously rushed.

LETERRIER: Yeah, exactly. It was famously rushed and famously horrible. It was absolutely horrible, the 3D. Nothing was working, it was just a gimmick to steal money from the audience. I’m a good boy and I rolled with the punches and everything, but it’s not my movie. “Clash of the Titans” is not my movie. And ultimately that’s why I didn’t do the sequel.

It’s a fun action movie, all in all. Some people are really happy with the movie. I tried to do the best I could, but it was not the best experience of my life, I must say. I wasn’t protected. Talking about surrounding yourself with the right people — I felt like I was really thrown at the wolves.

So to be fair, Leterrier has always held to his statement that the 3D was Warner Bros.’ decision.   But it’s also slightly amusing to see him say “It’s not a gimmick” in 2010″ and then say “it was just a gimmick to steal money from the audience.”  But no one should have expected Leterrier to throw the 3D under the bus when he was doing press for Clash.  But perhaps when we ask filmmakers about what’s next, we should also remember to ask them about their past work.

  • Nathaniel Haywood

    That’s fair enough. You’ll destroy relationships pretty quickly if you trash a movie while you’re doing press for it, so he didn’t really have a choice there. It’s sad because he had to stand up for the studio’s crappy decision while the studio was throwing the decision around his neck like an albatross. That’s what sucks about uneven relationships. At least he can be honest now.

    3D movies are crap, anyway. Avatar is the only 3D movie I’ve seen that I thought was actually better in 3D. Everything else has just been a money grab. (I do think that Jurassic Park’s post conversion was worth it, but not much else…)

    • http://www.brndbl.tumblr.com/ Ryan Donnell

      Jurassic Park has been the best 3D movie I have seen, period. And it was a post conversion!

      • Lex Walker

        This may also be because Jurassic Park is the best movie you have seen, period. Because it’s freakin’ awesome.

    • GrimReaper07

      Life of Pi was amazing in 3D as well

      • peter

        and Hugo

      • thewriteguy

        Great Gatsby too. But the live action of these three movies were shot originally shot with 3D cameras.

    • muchrockness

      You say “3D movies are crap,” but then you list two movies that you liked better in 3D! If 2 movies can impress you then it’s not 3D that’s crap!

      • Nathaniel Haywood

        Did you pay attention to what I said? The two movies I listed were the exceptions to the rule. 3D movies are a money grab is what I said, and it’s true. 3D makes TONS of money in overseas markets – many markets, especially in Asia, won’t even play American movies unless they are 3D. So studios post-convert even when the movie doesn’t call for it. Does 3D really make Gulliver’s Travels or The Green Hornet better? I highly doubt it. If the directors truly believed their movie would be better in 3D then they would film that way to begin with. But barely any do. That’s why I say 3D is just a money grab and I typically don’t waste my money on it.

      • muchrockness

        I too loathe how studios treat 3D in certain films as little more than a money grab. But 3D can be done right if a filmmaker is artistically invested in using it to drive the narrative. It’s getting harder to spot the bad ones from long distance though, because conversions are getting so good. The 3D ship is righting itself.

        Also, FYI, Great Gatsby was shot in 3D and many have praised it. I saw a full length 3D trailer last year and it was some of the best-looking stereography I’ve ever seen. No need to relegate 3D to just action movies and cartoons.

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/‎ tarek

    Anyway, Clash of the Titans was a horrible movie, even if they convert it into a 4D movie.

    • ScaredForMovies

      I couldn’t agree more. I prefer the original anyway. It’s campy but it has way more heart. The claymation Medusa still creeps me out.

      • Johnson

        screw you both, ’twas a fun movie

  • scurvy

    I think clash of the titans 3d post conversion almost single handedly killed people’s interest in seeing movies in 3d that were post converted. The first thing I look for when a movie comes out in 3d is if it was post converted and that is specifically because clash was so bad.

    • muchrockness

      I can usually gauge how good the 3D will be by reading interviews with the director. Like Leterrier, they’re usually obligated to talk it up anyway, but it’s pretty easy to tell who is just towing corporate lines.

  • JK1193

    The 3D has gotten better since then, whereas three years ago, it was still a work-in-progress. It goes to show that things get better in time. The 3D on Wrath was a huge improvement from the first one, and the conversion process has gotten better, as The Avengers and Star Trek Into Darkness showed.

    • muchrockness

      Conversions have improved immensely! But native 3D can be reviewed on set and the director can re-compose if he’s not quite happy. With post-conversion, directors have to review in 2D, and must rely on a stereographer to judge how it might look like in 3D. The best solution is to use both- use native as a base and conversion for final touchups/to correct errors.

  • Calderon

    Every single movie shot in/converted to 3D is not warranted to be shown in that format. Every one, EXCEPT Avatar, Hugo, and Life of Pi. Cameron, Scorsese, and Lee know their technological craft and how to push boundaries. Notable that the former two got nominated for Best Director and the latter won for their efforts on their 3-D projects.

    • muchrockness

      I would add Coraline, Great Gatsby, Jurassic Park, Prometheus, and CG toons like Tintin. Some say that Pina and Cave of Forgotten Dreams were up there with Hugo/Pi, but I found their 3D to be a mixed bag technically.

  • http://www.cinefiloz.com/ Emmanuel Baez

    You know, there’s this thing call A CONTRACT which the director agrees and signs. One of the stipulations is that you can’t talk trash about the movie you’re doing. Logic maybe?

    • Strong Enough

      stop making shut up

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