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It’s been three long years since Frank Miller’s “300” bloodied its way to the big screen, and since that time, Miller’s Hollywood career has been on something of a roller coaster ride — down, down, down. For a while there, you couldn’t go a week without hearing about some project that Miller had been attached to, and then “The Spirit” hit and … well, that was that. So yeah, a “300” sequel is exactly what the doctor ordered, but before Zack Snyder can start shooting it, Frank Miller first needs to finish “Xerxes”, the comic book that the movie will be based off.
Via the LATimes, here’s your first look at Xerxes himself (below), the main character in the upcoming comic book, which will follow the rise and fall of the Persian King of Kings first seen in “300” being played by Rodrigo Santoro.
“The story will be the same heft as ‘300’ but it cover a much, much greater span of time — it’s 10 years, not three days,” Miller said. “This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in ‘300’ were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it’s a sweeping tale with gods and warriors.
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,” Miller said. “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.”
Miller says you can expect Ephialtes, the traitorous Spartan, to show up in “Xerxes”, as well as a brief cameo by Leonidas himself, but the bulk of the story will focus on Xerxes as he tries to conquer the world and goes up against the Athenians.
The six-issue comic book is expected out next year from Dark Horse Comics, but as any fan of Miller can attest, just because there’s a delivery date, it doesn’t necessarily mean much. Ol Frank has been known to miss a schedule or two. Or three. Or five dozen.