An epic struggle of ancients


The race for "War of Gods" and "Clash of the Titans," two rival projects set up at Relativity and Warner Bros., respectively, is accelerating.

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."

In addition, the projects have set their start dates: "Gods" is tentatively planned for a February shoot, while production is slated to begin on "Titans" in April.

The budget for "Gods" is expected to be about $85 million, while "Titans" is budgeted in the $70 million range.

The studios have been in a fierce battle to get their movie to market first, 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 produced by Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari, the team behind "300," and directed by Tarsem Singh.

"Titans," produced by Thunder Road and co-produced by Legendary Pictures, actually was set up first. Directed by Louis Leterrier, the film focuses on similar themes and characters as "Gods": the mythological Perseus and his battle to save a princess from villains including Medusa.

The success of Warners' "300" in 2007 set off a scramble to create another midbudget myth-focused movie — with younger and less-pricey stars. (partialdiff)