Geek Peek: First Images From ‘300’ Sequel ‘Rise Of An Empire’
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The first official images from 300: Rise of an Empire, the long awaited sequel (sort of—more on that later) to Zack Snyder‘s 2006 adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel 300, have been released online.

One of the images shows some muscular gentlemen (what did you expect?) on a ship during a sea battle, and the other shows star Sullivan Stapleton (Gangster Squad, The Hunter), who’s playing the lead character Themistokles.

Click on over to the other side now to check out the first images from 300: Rise of an Empire.

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‘Camelot’ Star Eva Green Chosen For Female Lead In Warner Brothers’ ‘300’ Prequel
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While Warner Brothers and Legendary Picture try and figure out who will step up and be the strong male lead in their 300 prequel, titled 300: Battle of Artemisia, they’ve gone out and found who they want to play the female lead.

It’s being reported that negotiations have began with French actress Eva Green for the job, which would see her playing Artemisia, a “ruthless, gold-covered goddess” who pushes the God-king Xerxes to build his massive army.

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With ‘Akira’ Set, Warner Brothers Chooses Director For ‘300’ Prequel ‘Battle Of Artemisia’
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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.

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‘Die Hard 5’ & Bruce Willis Find Their Director In Noam Murro
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It’s been no secret since the release of Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth installment in the franchise, that star Bruce Willis was planning on making more at some point in the future.

Movement has been speeding up lately on what’s simply being called Die Hard 5 at the moment, and now the flick’s director has been chosen by 20th Century Fox and Willis. Deadline is reporting that Noam Murro will be taking the wheel on the project, which could become his third feature film.

Murro has only one completed credit to his name — 2008’s Smart People, which starred Ellen Page, Dennis Quaid, Thomas Hayden Church, and Sarah Jessica Parker — and has another currently in production called Hateship, Friendship, Courtship. These aren’t the credits of someone you would see directing a Die Hard movie, but these movies are also not what stood out to those who hired Murro — it was his work on some popular live-action Halo shorts made for the release of Halo: Reach that caught eyes and won him the job. You can see the videos below if you missed them.

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DVD Review: ‘Smart People’

Smart People
Widescreen Edition
Directed by Noam Murro
Starring Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page, Thomas Haden Church
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release date: August 12, 2008

I will preface this review with an admission of guilt that I am more than happy to announce as loud as it will take for anyone to hear it: I can’t stand Ellen Page. In my humble opinion Juno was just alright and my distaste for the movie rests solely on the shoulders of its star. I found myself defending my position during the film’s release more than I felt necessary and the singular argument that came from the other camp was that if I like her in Hard Candy (I did) and hated her in Juno, then I must have disliked the character Juno more than the person acting as her. That wouldn’t be a bad argument if it weren’t completely wrong. On the timeline of this longstanding debate, Smart People may have dealt the death blow for the opposing side. But let me back up just a touch.

As a film critic, I would like to think I am subjective enough not to let a singular performance ruin an otherwise decent movie. It hasn’t always held true (see: Juno), but I was bound and determined not to let it happen here. In other words, I went into it with an open mind. I am proud to say that I did not find Smart People to be a bad movie because of Ellen Page. No, this time it was a group effort.

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