Originally titled Xerxes, the prequel to Zack Snyder’s superb 300 has been renamed 300: Battle of Artemisia, just to avoid confusion. Set some ten years before the events of 300, the film was never intended to be directed by Zack Snyder, which is a damn shame. However, the news is that he will return to write to script with Kurt Johnstad. The film is based on Frank Miller’s upcoming prequel comic to 300 telling the tale of the Persian King Xerxes, and the comic itself will be called Xerxes. In the 300 the Persian King was played by Rodrigo Santoro.
Guy Richie was thought to be directing at one point, however that was not to happen and Warners soon eyed up two possible directors, Noam Murro ( Smart People) and Juame Collet-Serra (Orphan). Collet-Serra is now attached to the film version of Akira, so it would seem that Murro will be taking charge of this prequel. There is clearly a lot of faith in him as a director as he is also attached to direct Die Hard 5. The good news is that hopefully this will get moving pretty soon. Here is what we know of the plot details:
“The time frame begins 10 years before ’300? and the story starts with the Battle of Marathon, which was killer to draw, by the way, even if it was a lot of work. The lead character is Themistocles who became warlord of Greece and built their navy. The story is very different than ’300? in that it involves Xerxes search for godhood. The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he well on his way to godhood by the end of the story. With Themistocles I have a character who is almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure. He was nicknamed ‘The Subtle Serpent’ and he always manages to do the exact right things that will result in him benefiting greatly.”
By Matt Wavish