'Gods,' 'Titans' set to duel

Henry Cavill, Sam Worthington eye starring roles

NEW YORK -- The race for "War of the Gods" and "Clash of the Titans," two rival projects set up at Relativity and Warners, is quickening.

Both are close to casting their leads, with "Stardust" topliner Henry Cavill set to star in "Gods" and "Terminator Salvation" star Sam Worthington in negotiations to climb aboard "Titans," which Thunder Road is producing and Legendary Pictures is co-producing."

In addition, the projects have set start dates. "Gods" would seem to have the edge -- it's tentatively planned for a February shoot, while production on "Titans" is slated to begin in April.

Both are sub-$100 million projects, though the budget for "Gods," at approximately $85 million, is believed to be higher than "Titans," which is closer to the $70 million range.

The studios have been in a fierce battle to get their product to market first, in a battle echoing the scramble between competing studio projects "Troy" and "Alexander" in 2004.

"Gods," Charles and Vlas Parlapanides' story of kings and warriors in ancient Greece, will be prodcued by the producers of "300" and directed by Tarsem Singh.

Warners' and Legendary Pictures' co-production "Titans" was actually set up first; the project, directed by Louis Leterrier, looks at similar themes and characters as "Gods" -- the mythological character Perseus and his battle to save a princess from villains such as Medusa.

The success of "300" in 2007 set off a scramble to create a mid-budget movie -- with younger and less pricey stars -- that nonetheless had big earning power.
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