Production on the 300 follow-up 300: Battle of Artemisia must be looming closer, as director Noam Murro has cast two leads in the pic. Last week we learned that Sullivan Stapleton had landed a lead in the film, and now Deadline reports that Jamie Blackley is set in another lead role. Blackley will play Calisto, “a teen whose desire to become the heroic man/soldier his father was leads the 16 year old to become a leader of a small band of soldiers.” Since the film centers around the Battle of Artemisia, it was assumed that the two leads would be Themistocles (who lead the Greeks) and Xerxes (who led the Persians). There was some confusion last week as to whether Stapleton would be playing Themistocles or Xerxes.
Given the news of Blackley’s casting, it appears a good portion of the film will center around some of the younger soldiers. Battle of Artemisia isn’t necessarily a sequel or prequel to 300, as the events in the film take place at the same time as the events in 300. Eva Green is also set to star. Blackley had a small role in London Boulevard opposite Colin Farrell and recently wrapped the lead in the Bryan Singer-produced uwantme2killhim?. Blackley will next be seen in Snow White and the Huntsman.
While they’ve yet to cast their male lead, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have nabbed their female lead in the 300 prequel 300: Battle of Artemisia. The film takes place around the same time period of 300, but in a different location with different characters. It centers on the titular Battle of Artemisium, with Themistocles leading and strategizing for the Greeks opposite the Persian forces led by Xerxes. Joel Edgerton was offered the lead role of Themistocles, but he subsequently passed.
Now Heat Vision reports that Eva Green (Casino Royale) is in negotiations to play Artemisia, a “ruthless, gold-covered goddess who persuades Xerxes to amass his army and helps lead them into battle.” Noam Murro (Smart People) is directing the action pic, with 300 director Zack Snyder onboard as producer. The studio hopes to get production started in the first quarter of 2012, so they better get crackin’ on that male lead. Green will next be seen in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows.
Earlier this month, we reported that Joel Edgerton was in talks to star in the 300 sequel, 300: Battle of Artemisia. Edgerton was up to play “Themosticles, the famed archon and general who led the Greeks to victory against the invading Persians in 480 BCE.” But Variety’s Jeff Sneider has tweeted, “UPDATE: JOEL EDGERTON has passed on the 300 sequel.”
When Edgerton was replaced by Jason Clarke in Kathryn Bigelow‘s hunt for Bin Laden movie, I assumed that the problem was a scheduling conflict with 300. However, it looks like he was never fully signed so I’ll have to keep puzzling over the mystery of why he dropped out of Bigelow’s movie. Thankfully, Edgerton will most likely remain an in-demand actor who’s looking to break out big in the U.S., and he can do better than a sequel to 300. Edgerton will next be seen in the family film The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Baz Luhrmann‘s adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
Jack and Jill gained some ground on Saturday, though not enough to slay the Immortals. The 3D action/fantasy film finished first with an estimated $32 million from 3,112 locations. Considering that the film’s distributor was expecting a top opening of $26 million that has to be seen as a win. And even if the film’s total does look somewhat anemic compared to past 3D hits, with the year we’ve had I’d prefer to focus on the positive.
||Jack and Jill
||Puss In Boots
||Harold and Kumar 3D
||Paranormal Activity 3
Joel Edgerton is entering talks with Warner Bros. to star in the 300 sequel, 300: Battle of Artemisia. According to Vulture, Edgerton “would play Themosticles, the famed archon and general who led the Greeks to victory against the invading Persians in 480 BCE.” Noam Murro, who previously directed the awful Smart People, is making a big leap from that indie to the tentpole action flick, but Zack Snyder is still on board to co-write the script based on Frank Miller‘s upcoming graphic-novel, Xerxes.
While I’m not exactly sure we need 300: The Same Amount of Greased-Up Ripped Guys Fighting the Brown People, Edgerton is undoubtedly a strong lead. Unfortunately, American audiences probably don’t know that yet since no one saw Warrior and he’s barely in The Thing. However, they’ll get more chances to see him in 2012 since he’s leading Kathryn Bigelow’s Kill Bin Laden, and he’s co-starring in the family flick The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
Fans have been itching to see a follow-up to Zack Snyder’s 2006 battle epic 300 for quite some time now. After years of wondering if and when we’d ever see a return to the blood-soaked, slow-motion infused world of 300, things are finally coming together for 300: Battle for Artemisia. Noam Murro (Smart People) is set to direct, and the film is poised to tell the story of Xerxes’ rise to power, punctuated by the epic naval Battle of Artemisium.
Steve recently got the chance to speak with producer Mark Canton for Tarsem Singh’s upcoming Immortals, and Canton gave an update on the 300 follow-up. He commented on the screenplay, the story, and revealed the chances of seeing some of the characters from the original 300 pop up in Battle of Artemisia. Additionally, Canton talked about some of his upcoming projects, including an epic potential franchise-starter project called Emperor that tells the story of young Caesar. Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud) is onboard to direct. Hit the jump for all the details.
At WonderCon this weekend, Relativity Media premiered an awesome looking teaser trailer for Tarsem Singh’s Immortals. In the film, Henry Cavill plays Theseus, a mortal chosen by Zeus (Luke Evans) to bring down the power-hungry King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke). The film also stars Isabel Lucas, Frida Pinto, Kellan Lutz, Stephen Dorff, and John Hurt. You can read more about the WonderCon presentation here.
Earlier in the day, before the panel, I got to speak with producer Mark Canton (300) about the genesis of the project, how they got the film made and the casting process, how wide was his smile when Cavill was cast as Superman, does Tarsem’s visual style add time to the production schedule, what’s up with sequels/prequels to Zack Snyder’s 300, and other projects like Freelancers and Piranha 3DD. Hit the jump to watch.
Mondo recently launched a new “Director’s Series” line of posters where almost every film in a director’s body of work would get its own specially-designed, gorgeous Mondo poster. The series kicked off with posters for Guillermo del Toro (and we’re still waiting to see what Mondo has in store for Pan’s Labyrinth, Cronos, and The Devil’s Backbone) and followed up with Olly Moss posters for Duncan Jones’ Moon and Source Code. Now director Zack Snyder is getting the business and the series begins with his newest film, Sucker Punch. The poster was designed by Ken Taylor and comes in a regular edition and a variant. The regular edition is limited to 285 prints and costs $45 while the orange variant is limited to 105 prints and costs $70. Both posters measure 24″x36″ and are hand-numbered. The posters go on sale tomorrow at a random time so be sure you’re following @MondoNews for the announcement.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. Mondo will also be producing posters for Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, and Legend of the Guardians. I wish them the best of luck in selling the Guardians posters.
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.]
Ever since Zack Snyder’s 300 hit theaters three years ago, fans have been chomping at the bit for a sequel/follow-up. Snyder always said that it depended on whether comic book artist/writer Frank Miller wanted to write another graphic novel. Well, it appears that Miller has a good chunk of Xerxes written and drawn, and he recently spoke extensively about the project. Regarding the story, Miller had this to say:
The time frame begins 10 years before ’300′ and the story starts with the Battle of Marathon, which was killer to draw, by the way, even if it was a lot of work. The lead character is Themistocles, who became warlord of Greece and built their navy. The story is very different than ’300′ in that it involves Xerxes’ search for godhood. The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he [is] well on his way to godhood by the end of the story.
For much, much more from Miller regarding Xerxes, hit the jump.
While in London last week doing press for Legend of the Guardians, director Zack Snyder talked about his plans for the upcoming 300 spinoff, Xerxes. I say “spinoff” because as we previously reported, Snyder says that Xerxes isn’t a “prequel or a sequel” because it’s about the Battle of Artemisium, which took place during the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae (which was depicted in 300). But whereas Thermopylae was a land battle, Artmisium was fought at sea and Snyder has big plans for how he plans to depict that fight. Hit the jump for how he says he’s going to have Greeks and Persians going at it this time.
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.
At last week’s Saturn Awards, I was able to interview director Zack Snyder and his producing partner (and wife) Debbie Snyder on the red carpet. While interviews on the red carpet are usually short, I was able to speak with them for about 6 minutes and got updates on Sucker Punch, Legend of the Guardians, what are they going to do at Comic-Con, what’s up with the 300 Prequel Xerxes, and a lot more.
Some of the highlights were Snyder confirming they did a friends and family screening of Sucker Punch recently and it went over great, they have big plans for Comic-Con and we’ll get out first look at some Sucker Punch footage and exclusives, the finale of Legend of the Guardians is still being worked on and none of the footage has been in either trailer, he’s seen some of Frank Miller’s Xerxes comic and it’s still and wait and see if he’ll make a movie out of it, Snyder is currently writing a new project (doesn’t reveal what it is), and they talk about the challenges of trying to make two films at the same time. It’s a great update on all their projects so hit the jump to take a look:
Folks who have seen or read 300 know that a sequel probably isn’t in the cards. However, Frank Miller is putting together a prequel to his 1998 comic. Entitled Xerxes, the comic would center on 300‘s antagonist (played in Zach Snyder’s film by Rodrigo Santoro). In an interview with Hero Complex, Miller talked at length about the upcoming six-part miniseries, which is due to hit stores next year. Said Miller:
“The story will be the same heft as 300 but it cover a much, much greater span of time — it’s 10 years, not three days. This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in 300 were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it’s a sweeping tale with gods and warriors.”
Sounds pretty sweet. Hit the jump for more on the project including whether its due for a film adaptation.
There are already three versions of A Star Is Born scattered throughout film history, but since over thirty years have passed since the last, it’s time for a new one. Russell Crowe was being considered for the male lead, but no offer has been made and the Robin Hood star may move on to other projects before one can be extended. LA Times reports that Warner Bros. has a list of names they fancy for the role, and near the top is Scottish hunk Gerard Butler. It would be new territory for Butler, who is known for action films like 300 and romantic comedies like The Bounty Hunter rather than more dramatic fare.
The female lead has not been chosen either, but Beyonce has been rumored for the part. She would play an aspiring actress, while Butler would play an aging movie star who helps launch her career. Check out the full plot synopsis after the jump.