It seems Warner Bros.’ 300 spin-off is having a bit of an identity crisis, starting with the title; originally being called Xerxes, after Frank Miller’s prequel comic by the same name, only to be renamed 300: Battle of Artemisia. But even now, that title isn’t official and may change later on.
As a matter of fact, not even the plot is official. It was originally pegged as a prequel, but that’s now an uncertainty. The current word is that the film is “neither a prequel or a sequel and that the filmmakers are still figuring out its positioning.” So possibly a film taking place at the same time but from a different perspective? Who knows?
Well, today’s news has nothing to do with a title change or plot news, but rather the fact that the first actor is in final negotiations to join the historical epic. According to Variety, that actor is none other than Sullivan Stapleton, most notable for his role in the Australian film Animal Kingdom, as well in the upcoming Gangster Squad.
So who will he play? Well, it was originally speculated that the actor would portray Xerxes – the central antagonist in 300 played by Rodrigo Santaro – but it’s looking likely he’ll play Themistocles, “the famed archon and general who led the Greeks to victory against the invading Persians in 480 BCE”. Regardless to who he will play, Stapleton is in talks to be the main character.
Though not official yet, Eva Green (Casino Royale) is reportedly finalizing a deal to join the film as Artemisa, a fact-based character formulated in Kurt Johnstadt and Zack Snyder’s screenplay. On that note, Snyder is also producing, but is giving up the director’s chair Noam Murro due to the scheduling of Snyder’s Man Of Steel.
Like I stated before, the plot has not yet been confirmed but it may be safe to bet that it might somewhat resemble the plot to Miller’s Xerxes comic:
“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 [sic] 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.”
So things may not seem stable or official just yet, it’s still good to see the film actually getting on track and out of production limbo. With that being said, it can almost be certain that the film will take a less stylized, artistic approach than Snyder’s 300, due to the nature of the plot. But, again, hardly anything can be confirmed just yet so take these as just speculations. Considering the prequel/sequel is slated to shoot in summer 2012, confirmations may be coming soon.