Warner Bros. Offers 300 Sequel XERXES to Director Guy Ritchie – UPDATED: Ritchie Passes

     February 15, 2011

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In a bit of a twist, it appears that Warner Bros. has offered the sequel to Zack Snyder’s 300 to director Guy Ritchie, instead of having Snyder helm the flick himself. Snyder, of course, is busy prepping his Superman film The Man of Steel right now, so it’s understandable that he’s busy. Still, most assumed that he would be taking on Xerxes after Man of Steel, or at least sometime in the future.

Vulture reports that Warner Bros. wants Snyder’s attention focused squarely on Man of Steel at the moment, as sources tell them that the story is suffering some “major third act problems” and the studio wants to get the film out as soon as possible. In addition, Vulture hears that Snyder’s upcoming Sucker Punch has not exactly been testing great. Snyder wrote the script to Xerxes, and one assumes that he would at least stay on to produce the film. Ritchie hasn’t agreed to direct the film yet, but the offer’s out to him, and WB seems to think he’s their guy, so now the ball’s in his court. Nevertheless, it does appear that Snyder won’t be directing the flick. Hit the jump for more on the project.

[Update The Playlist reports that while Ritchie may have considered the project, he will not direct Xerxes.  The report confirms Snyder likely is too busy for Xerxes, which leaves the high profile gig open to any number of directors in the coming months.]

Snyder had recently talked enthusiastically about the project, gleaming about the epic naval Battle of Artemisium. Frank Miller, who wrote the graphic novel that 300 was based on, has also been writing a comic series version of Xerxes. Miller’s version takes place over the span of ten years and involves gods.

Ritchie is currently busy finishing up filming the sequel to last year’s Sherlock Holmes, this one called Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. He’s also said to be circling a remake of Cannonball Run. Snyder’s Sucker Punch hits theaters March 25th, with The Man of Steel slated for a Holiday 2012 release.

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