Frank Miller Talks 300 Prequel XERXES

     June 2, 2010

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.

Speaking of turning Xerxes into a film, Zack Snyder and producer Thomas Tull that if the prequel lives up to their expectation, then we can definitely expect a sequel.  Said Snyder (stating the obvious):

“If the book is awesome and compelling then, yes, we’re interested.”

Miller said his book has the potential be as “provactive” to the Iranian people as 300, where the Persians were the bad guys.  Of course, in America, it was a bloody and entertaining action flick and we left it at that (although it did pose an interesting question about western and eastern conflict in modern-day global politics).  Of the prequel’s potential to provoke, Miller said he’s getting to explore Xerxes as more fully formed character:

“Yes, I suppose it will be seen as provocative, but really to me he is such a pivotal character and in this story I get to explain him so much more fully.  I do my best to crawl inside his head rather than have him be this iconic force that simply commands this huge army. There are many scenes with him alone or just with his people. There’s an extended scene set in Persepolis, for instance, where he takes power and there are several scenes where he is going through his transitions and he’s shown speaking to his mother and his wife and with all of that he becomes that much more interesting as a character.”

Surprisingly, the protagonist won’t be Xerxes but a Greek warrior.  Miller explains:

“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 well on his way to godhood by the end of the story.”

That’s an interesting approach because it appears that Miller is saying that godhood is real and that means King Leonidas was able to remove that godhood in 300 in his final confrontation with Xerxes.  Speaking of Leonidas, the character will briefly appear although the story is told from the perspective of the Athenians.  The traitorous Ephialtes also plays a part in Xerxes.

But the best news is that Miller has no desire (at least at this point) to helm a potential cinematic adaptation.  Then again, as opposed to The Spirit, Xerxes would be his own material.  But I say it’s best not to chance it.

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