Now playing in theaters 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 producer Mark Canton. He talked about working with Harold Ramis early in his career, making Rise of an Empire, the use of 3D, more sequels, Eva Green’s amazing performance, the sex scene, and future projects like Power (which will air on Starz), The Last Witch Hunter with Vin Diesel, the possibility of a sequel to Immortals (they’re trying to find the right story), a trilogy of films about a young Julius Caesar, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
Producer Mark Canton Time Index:
- :16 – Reminisces about working on Caddyshack and with Harold Ramis on five films.
- 2:15 – Talks about the film’s use of 3D and how he thinks it’s the best 3D to date.
- 3:45 – The lengthy development process of the sequel and how they landed upon the story. Why did it take so long for it to get off the ground? Says Zack Snyder initially planned to direct, but had to drop out when he agreed to helm Man of Steel.
- 5:15 – Would it be possible to release a cut of both 300 and 300: Rise of an Empire edited together?
- 6:03 – Talks about the ending of 300: Rise of an Empire and how it sets up another possible sequel.
- 7:15 – Eva Green’s amazing performance. Was she always the first choice for the role?
- 8:06 – The film’s 3D sex scene.
- 9:05 – Talks about the uniqueness of the franchise.
- 11:08 – Discusses the popcorn viewing experience of how graphic the movie is, especially with regards to the sex scene.
- 12:15 – His Starz series Power. Says they’re in the middle of shooting the show right now.
- 13:29 – He’s working on a trilogy of films about a young Julius Caesar and hopes to continue the franchises for 300 and Immortals.
- 14:33 – The Last Witch Hunter with Vin Diesel. Says if everything goes right, it’ll start filming this summer.
- 15:12 – Status update on the sequel to Immortals. They’re trying to find the right story.
- 15:43 – He’s hoping to make another 300 soon.