We’ve been hearing about a 300 prequel/sequel/spinoff for a while now, but we knew it would be a long while before we actually saw it because creator Frank Miller still had to work on the graphic novel for which the movie would be based. In fact, it was almost one year ago that Zack Snyder confirmed that he was working on the script for the prequel, and we haven’t heard much of anything major since then.
At that time it was unclear whether or not Snyder would return to direct the movie, which is now titled 300: Battle of Artemisia (previously titled Xerxes, which is the name of Miller’s graphic novel), though it sounded like he very much wanted to, saying “It’s really going to depend on what the studio wants to do…I don’t have a directing deal in place but we are writing it, so call it intent. If there was a crime they could probably convict me.” But we now know that what the studio (Warner Brothers) wanted, was for Snyder to take on their reboot of Superman, titled Man of Steel, which will star Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Michael Shannon, to name a few.
This left the door open for fresh blood to bring us back to the times of the Spartans, and Warner Brothers knows just who they want for the job. Heat Vision is reporting that WB has chosen Noam Murro for the job, and that an official offer will go out to him early next week.
This is an interesting choice for director, to say the least. The only feature Murro has under his belt, is the indie dramedy Smart People, which starred Ellen Page, Dennis Quaid, Thomas Hayden Church, and Sarah Jessica Parker. His name has been attached to Die Hard 5, but we haven’t heard much about that one yet.
It’s likely Murro showed off a presentation of what he can bring to the table in the effects–heavy world of an epic blockbuster sequel, and Warner and Snyder””who, again, wrote the script, and will surely act as a producer and “godfather” (much like Christopher Nolan is to Man of Steel) on the project””were impressed enough with what they saw to give him the job.
The other director that was in the mix for the 300 prequel was Jaum Collet-Serra, who was just announced as the new director of Warner Brothers’ live–action Akira movie, leaving the job open for Murro.
It’s hard to get excited about a 300 movie without Snyder directing, I won’t lie. And even harder when the man chosen to direct has nothing on his resume we can look at to get a feel for what to expect. That said, it will still be interesting to see how the movie looks and how Murro approaches the job.
The other tricky thing here, is that it sounds like the Spartans””easily the most popular thing about 300“”don’t seem to have much to do with Battle for Artemisia, if anything at all. The movie will center around the villain of the original film, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), who rises to power after his father’s death and seeks to become a “God–King” after his father’s request that he not attack the Greeks because “only a god can punish” them. The back story of Xerxes will be interwoven with other bits of story over the course of the movie, but the central focus will obviously be the Battle of Artemisia, where another warrior, Themistocles, battles the invading Persians. It also just so happens that this battle takes place over the course of the same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae we saw in the first movie between King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his Spartans and the Persian army.
It’s unclear if Santoro will be reprising his role as Xerxes. One would expect he would, but the actor has multiple projects in various stages of production at the moment, and it’s not know if and when they plan on shooting Battle of Artemisia.
Are you excited about the 300 prequel, or do you have no interest?