Zack Snyder, who is currently at Comic Con trying to sell his CG fighting owl movie to the masses, has confirmed that he has indeed finished up a deal to co-write and direct “Xerxes”, the “300” sequel, for Warner Bros. “Xerxes” will be a prequel to the 2006 hit movie ($456 million in worldwide box office and $261 million from DVD sales alone), and though the movie will feature an appearance by Gerard Butler’s Leonidas, it will focus on a new character, Themistocles, who will continue the battle against Xerxes’s invading army.
This movie follows Themistocles and the Battle of Artemisium, which coincidentally happens on the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae. This one starts off with a quick retelling of the why of the Persian wars. It starts off at the Battle of Marathon and then it goes back to Themistocles finding out that Persians are invading again. And off we go over to learn a little bit about why Xerxes is the way he is.
Xerxes, of course, is the Persian God/King who invaded Greece in “300”, originally played by Rodrigo Santoro as something of a hulking freak of nature.
Themistocles is kind of the father of democracy. It’s much more about these guys choosing. The Spartans are, ‘We fight, we die,’ so that’s an easy choice for them, there’s no surrender. The cool thing about Themistocles and his gang is that it’s way more difficult. Things aren’t as clear or unchallenged. He has to be more political to get everyone to agree. It’s political, in the soap-opera sense of the word. There’s a relationship with Leonidas … and … well, we’ll see where it all goes.
Snyder confirms that visually, “Xerxes” will look like “300” because the two films will take place in the same (hyper-stylized) universe. Snyder will co-write the script with Kurt Johnstad, based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, which is scheduled to land in comic book stores everywhere in a few months.
Here’s a peek at Xerxes: