Opening this weekend is director Noam Murro’s 300: Rise of an Empire. In the sequel to Zack Snyder’s 300, Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), the vengeful commander of the Persian navy. The film also stars Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Igal Nao, Callan Mulvey, Jack O’Connell, and Andrew Tiernan. I’ve seen the film twice now and am happy to report the sequel kicks ass. The fight scenes are extremely well done, the 3D actually adds to the story, and Eva Green’s performance is worth the price of admission. It also might have the best sex scene of 2014, and it’s only February. While many might have wondered if we needed a sequel to 300, I’m very happy they made it.
At the Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive video interview with Murro. He talked about how he landed the job, the long production process (they shot for 80 days), how the film takes place at the same time as 300, the intense sex scene, his hope that the fanbase will re-edit 300 and Rise of an Empire into one long movie, his thoughts on another sequel, the use of 3D, future projects, and much more. Hit the jump to watch.
For more on 300: Rise of an Empire, watch 6 clips and a ton of behind-the-scenes video and here’s over 40 images.
- Love for Collider.
- 0:50 – Where Murro came from and how he got the job with his vision for a “historical opera on water.”
- 2:50 – Describes the process of sketching out his visual interpretation to pitch the sequel.
- 3:55 – “72.601% of the shots were predetermined… The rest were decisions we made later in post.” For instance, the lightning and the rain were tested and created early on.
- 5:45 – They shot for 80+ days.
- 6:00 – There was no two-and-a-half hour edit. Every version was close to the 102-minute runtime.
- 6:40 – The prequel/sequel/”equal” takes place at the same time as 300, zooming out to see more of the story.
- 7:55 – Murro expects the fanbase to re-edit 300 and Rise of an Empire into one long movie and he “can’t wait to see it.”
- 9:00 – Says the operatic tone lends itself to the intense sex scene.
- 11:00 – What he thinks about the current state of the sex scene in Hollywood.
- 11:45 – Murro didn’t have any issues with the MPAA.
- 12:35 – They finished the movie awhile ago, but wanted to wait to release it at the same time of year as 300.
- 14:00 – Murro thinks there should be another 300 sequel but hasn’t started talking about it with the studio yet. He’s reading other scripts but he can’t say anything yet.
- 15:10 – Says they carefully considered how to execute the 3D throughout filming.