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The “Wrath of the Titans” cast talks gods, moving past “Clash,” and where the next film might go

wrath of the titans

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Sam Worthington returns as Greek hero Perseus in this weekend’s “Wrath of the Titans,” a sequel to the 2010 remake of “Clash of the Titans.” This time around, Perseus sets out to free his father, Zeus, from imprisonment at the hands of Hades, and prevent the massive titan Kronos from destroying the world.

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman, “Wrath of the Titans” faces a herculean task of its own: taking the franchise to the next level while overcoming the poor critical response to “Clash of the Titans” that almost doomed the sequel.

“What was most important to me was to maintain things I liked about the first movie,” Liebesman told IFC. “I went on opening day to ‘Clash of the Titans,’ and I had my own feelings about it — but there were things I really liked.”

“I thought Louis [Letterier] did an incredible job with the spectacle [in ‘Clash of the Titans’],” he explained. “It had a real massive, Hollywood spectacle to it, so that was important to maintain. What I wanted to add to that was a grittiness, so that I could ground that spectacle and try to make it as believable as possible, even though you’re in a fantasy world.”

For Liebesman, part of grounding the story was spending more time on the characters and their stories — including newcomer Agenor, the demigod son of Poseidon played by British actor Toby Kebbell. According to Kebbell, a character who started out as a sidekick for Perseus and occasional source of comic relief eventually grew into a bigger part of the “Titans” universe.

“What was originally written on the page was kind of a goofy character who spent his time saying inappropriate things at the wrong time, but me and Sam and Jonathan all agreed that we didn’t want that cliche in the film,” recalled Kebbell. “Sam wanted to make this big. He didn’t want to do a sequel and just make it like any other film for a paycheck.”

Along with the debut of Agenor, “Wrath of the Titans” also features an expanded role for two returning characters: Zeus and Hades. Played by Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, respectively, the two gods and the talented actors portraying them provide some of the film’s most memorable moments.

“I felt like [Zeus and Hades] were a little underused in the first movie,” said Liebesman. “Those two guys, Liam and Ralph, have such a great relationship with each other. They’re like brothers in real life. They’re so close. I just wanted to embrace that and have them in the film as much as possible.”

“There are a lot of scenes cut out with them, because I was just in love with those guys,” he laughed. “I was making my own Liam and Ralph movie. I would love to do anything with those guys. They are such a great team. I’m surprised they haven’t been in more movies together.”

And if all goes well with “Wrath of the Titans,” screenwriter Dan Mazeau says the “Titans” team has already begun discussing the next chapter of the franchise and where it could take Perseus and the Greek gods.

“It’s never really explained in mythology how it went from this pantheon of Greek gods to essentially none of them — to them being gone,” he explained. “That story of the fall of the gods hasn’t been told, so having this canvas to play with, it allows us to tell that story. This is about a world in transition. It’s a world going from a world of the gods to a world of men, so you’re seeing a lot of these things that were such a big part of the world, the gods and the monsters, having their last hurrah.”

“That was the overall idea when we started, and there is certainly more to tell,” he continued. “Where the world leaves off, it’s sort of an uncertain future, and mankind is going to have to chart its own course. I think there’s definitely some interesting stories, and yes, we’ve had some conversations about that.”

For Liebesman, however, it all starts with bringing to life a massive battle between the Greek gods and mythical creatures.

“That was the challenge that I wanted to give the team,” he said. “Can we do what you guys did in ‘Clash’ and ground it in reality? The fun will be trying to make people say, ‘Oh shit, this really looks like it could’ve happened!'”

“Wrath of the Titans” hits theaters March 30, and stars Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, and Toby Kebbell. Keep an eye on IFC.com for more from the “Wrath of the Titans” press junket.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.