If you’re a student of film history, then you really can’t help but have a soft spot for Ray Harryhausen. The legendary FX master and pioneer of stop motion animation techniques is among the most monolithic figures in the history of special effects in film, leaving behind an unassailable legacy when he passed away in 2013. We were moved enough at the time to write a list of Harryhausen’s most iconic creations, but that was just a taste of all the classic film moments he helped to create over the course of his long career. Of course, as the world of FX has continued to move on, you see new examples of Harryhausen’s techniques with increasing rarity.
That’s what makes this week’s announcement from the Harryhausen Foundation so unusual, and exciting. It seems that the group, which is responsible for protecting Harryhausen’s collection of film artifacts, is planning on producing a new, feature-length adventure film in the style of Harryhausen classics such as 1981’s Clash of the Titans. They’re teaming up with a company called Morningside Productions to do this, in a film that is being called Force of the Trojans. According to the official announcement:
Force of the Trojans will embody the spirit of the original Harryhausen films with all the fun, vibrant action, epic scope and dedication to craftsmanship that has made Ray Harryhausen’s films timeless.
Unlike other revisits to the fantasy adventure genre, Force of the Trojans will bring together stop-motion animation with the photo-real world of CGI, marking the first time that a monster battle will mix both techniques on screen in a major motion picture. In homage to a bygone era, this film will bring both worlds crashing together. For the first time, we can put on screen sequences that were not possible for Ray due to the limitations of special effects photography at the time.
Well that certainly sounds interesting, doesn’t it? It also raises countless questions. Who exactly will be handling all of this stop motion work? Where is the budget for Force of the Titans coming from, and what kind of budget will they ultimately be working with? Is this actually intended for large scale theatrical release? The announcement certainly makes it sound that way, but the next film in this vein we see in theaters will be the first since the ‘70s or ‘80s. It seems like a pretty slim chance that you’d ever see something like this opening wide in 2019 or 2020.
What we do know is that Force of the Titans comes from an older script written by Beverly Cross, who passed away in 1998. Cross was also the writer on Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, so it feels perfectly fitting that one of his unused scripts be given new life here. In the meantime, check out the sweet concept art below.
We’ll bring you updates on Force of the Titans, whenever more information surfaces.