Director Jonathan Liebesman Talks Untitled Julius Caesar Movie, ODYSSEUS, and a Sequel to WRATH OF THE TITANS

     March 24, 2012


Though 2010’s Clash of the Titans wasn’t exactly a critical success—and despite a pretty hefty shellacking for the film’s rushed 3D post-conversion—the action epic rounded up quite a substantial box office haul.  As a result, the studio is taking another shot at the sword and sandals story with the sequel Wrath of the Titans.  Director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) was brought in to take the helm, and star Sam Worthington has said that he’s been given the chance to rectify everything he felt they got wrong with the first go-around.  I’ve actually heard really good things about Wrath, and all signs point to a sufficiently entertaining Greek epic.  For more on the film, here’s five clips.

Steve recently got the chance to sit down with Liebesman at the Wrath of the Titans press day, and the director provided updates on a couple upcoming projects on his plate including an epic take on the Julius Caesar story, Odysseus, and his thoughts on returning for a sequel to Wrath. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

Jonathan-Liebesman-julius-caesar-movieWhen Steve asked the director about two projects on his IMDb profile—Odysseus and a Julius Caesar movie—Liebesman talked briefly about both:

“I’m not attached to Odysseus but Caesar I’m doing with Basil [Iwanyk], who produced Wrath, and that script is coming along exceptionally. That is a movie I want to have the right tools, the right actor, the right everything for. So we’re writing it now, I’m very excited about that one.”

julius-caesar-movie-imageWe first learned about the Caesar film last summer. The pic is described as a Patton-like approach to the Julius Caesar story rather than a straight biopic, with the story covering Caesar’s Spanish campaign, his formation of the 10th Legion, and the battles that would eventually establish him as ruler of the Roman republic. Steve brought up the HBO series Rome and asked Liebesman if he would be going for an R rating:

“I’d love to have an R rating. It’s gonna come down to, what budget do I need to tell the story and will that studio allow me that money with an R rating? I’m going to have to show them why I still think they will make their money back with an R rating.”

I’m pulling for Liebesman to come up with a great script that gives him the opportunity to take Caesar into R territory. It’d be difficult to accurately capture the feel of the period within the constraints of a PG-13 rating, so hopefully he’ll be given the creative latitude to make it happen. The director spoke about the impressive visual effects on Wrath of the Titans, but cautioned that it’s important for him to have Caesar feel real:

“I think Caesar’s something that has to be in the vein of Ben-Hur, just a real epic… What’s great about Wrath [is], there were a lot of VFX that were so real that I couldn’t believe they were VFX. A lot of the environments aren’t real and I’m like, ‘Wow, I don’t remember shooting that—no, no, no that’s a computer generated environment.’ Technology has come to a certain point, but Caesar has to feel real.”

wrath-of-the-titans-sam-worthington-liam-neesonAs for the prospects of a sequel to Wrath, Liebesman said that he had a great time working on the film and his involvement with a sequel is entirely up to the studio:

“I loved working on the movie, it’s up to them. To work with Sam and Liam [Neeson] and Ralph [Fiennes] it was honestly an honor for like an idiot like me, so I loved it. And the crew was exceptional, the amount of talent we were working with on the crew side of things [was great].”

You can watch the portion of Steve’s interview with Liebesman regarding the Caesar film and a Wrath of the Titans sequel below, and if you missed it be sure to check out his response to Michael Bay’s comments regarding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.  Steve’s full interview with the director will be posted in a few days .


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