The first images from director Noam Murro’s 300: Rise of an Empire are now available. We get a close-up of Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom) who stars as Themistocles, a Greek general who battles against the invading Persian army. The sequel to Zack Snyder’s 300 takes place at roughly the same time but will visit a variety of different locations (including the sea) and showcase appropriate tactics as the outnumbered Greeks attempt to defend their homeland.
Also starring Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green and Lena Headey, 300: Rise of an Empire opens August 2nd. Hit the jump to check out the pictures and quotes.
Check out the images below, followed by some quotes from the filmmakers on the plot of 300: Rise of an Empire (via USA Today):
Not only do we get a look at the sea-worthy warriors in the first images, but we get more details on the plot of the sequel via the filmmakers themselves. Murro spoke about the sequel, saying it “is tied visually to the original,” but owing to the sea battle, “there is a whole different choreography of fighting and war … [It] happens over time in many different locations. The opportunities for the six distinct battles are even greater with different locations and tactics.”
For fans of the original who loved the sacrifice the 300 made in their stand against the thousands of Persian soldiers, Murro is quick to state that the uphill battle against the odds is still upfront in the sequel:
“The few against the many is still here. It’s hundreds vs. hundreds of thousands. It’s about taking on the mightiest power of all with wisdom and tactics.”
This time around, the plot will center on a battle against Artemesia (Green), “the vengeful commander of the Persian navy, who is second in command to the mortal-turned-god leader Xerxes (Santoro) and has the added incentive of seeking to settle a blood score against the Greeks who killed her family when she was a child.”
Stapleton and Murro talked about Green’s character in turn:
“She does most of Xerxes’ dirty work in this film. She’s seeking revenge, and she does it well,” says Stapleton. “She’s a force to be reckoned with.”
Murro: “She’s got sex appeal, she’s ruthless and conniving. All the things that kill men. And she has a sword. I wouldn’t mess with her.”
Murro also draws a distinction between Themistocles and his warriors versus that of Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas and his elite soldiers:
“Themistokles is battle-scarred and a warrior, but at the same time he’s a politician. He’s not the king. He has to rule in a democracy. It’s a different complexity of character. These people don’t want to fight, they even say that they are not Spartans,” says Murro. “They are common people who have to do this to not be in under the rule of a dictator. This is not a duplicate movie or a cookie-cutter. It’s a very different story to tell in keeping with the original flavor of 300.”