Director Louis Leterrier doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to his films, despite The Transporter and Transporter 2 being entertaining enough, because he’s forever bound to a laughable pair of remakes in The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans. Both were box office successes, as the former earned $263 million worldwide and the latter raked in more than $493 million, but still – all the money in the world can hide the stink of a turd on a hot day.
With his latest effort, the magician/crime thriller Now You See Me, due out Friday, Leterrier is trying to remind people that while they may remember that neither film was very good and, more specifically, the 3D transformation on Clash of the Titans was really, really, really, REALLY awful, it wasn’t his fault, no matter what Warner Bros. tried to make us believe.
I’ve started movies without screenplays both on “Clash” and on “Hulk” and that is tremendously stressful, because you have a tendency to overcompensate with effects. You haven’t tested it in your head. You didn’t run it over and over again and covered all of the plot holes and figure it out. It’s a marathon that you sprint. “Now You See Me” was longer and it was a great script to start with.
Would you ever put yourself in that position again? Shooting without a script?
No. It’s two things: shooting without a script and also not surrounding myself with enough of my collaborators. It’s too stressful. It’s an enormous weight on your shoulders and then afterwards everybody blames you and points a finger at you and says, “Why did you convert the movie to 3D?” “I didn’t convert the movie to 3D! I didn’t want to do it! I didn’t like it!” That kind of stuff.
He also claims that when it came time to cast the Hulk, he actually wanted Mark Ruffalo while Marvel Studios wanted Edward Norton for his notoriety. Norton famously nuked his bridge with Marvel, while people mostly loved the latest version of the Hulk in The Avengers (which didn’t have too much to do with Ruffalo, other than he played Bruce Banner, but it’s approval by association).
But again, Leterrier, whose name always reminds me of Kids in the Hall, really wants us to understand that Warner forced him to do the 3D edits on Titans.
I have to say, you seem like a much happier human being right now than when I spoke to you for “Clash of the Titans.”
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.
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.
And how did Warner Bros. make up for that crappy 3D in Clash of the Titans when Wrath of the Titans was made? By adding Rosamund Pike. All is forgiven.