When we checked in with 300 director Zack Snyder in June, he indicated that he would commit to a sequel if Frank Miller could put together “something cool” with the graphic novel Xerxes. He must have liked what he saw, because Snyder confirmed that he and collaborator Kurt Johnstad were plotting the cinematic version:
“We closed the writing deal on Xerxes. We started writing about a week ago. So we’re doing it. It’s happening.”
Hit the jump for more comments from Snyder on the project.
With regard to whether or not he will assume directing duties for Xerxes, Snyder informed 24 Frames:
“It’s really going to depend on what the studio wants to do and what we do when we finish; 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.”
300 was a surprise success in 2007, grossing $456 million worldwide. I imagine it is in Warner Bros’ interest to part with a respectable sum to keep Snyder in place as director if schedule permits.
To be precise, Miller’s source material would not function exclusively as a prequel or a sequel. The events of Xerxes kick off years before 480 B.C. (the setting of 300), and continue to unfold afterward. Snyder went into detail about the narrative:
“This movie follows Themistocles and the Battle of Artemisium, which coincidentally happens on the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae [which was the basis of 300]. 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.”
Outside the 300 universe, you can look forward to Snyder’s animated film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole in theaters September 24, 2010. You can also check out the Warner Bros presentation — with time reserved for Sucker Punch — at Comic-Con this Saturday in advance of the movie’s March 25, 2011 premiere.