’300: Rise of an Empire’ Featurette Promises a Bigger Story

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 5th, 2014 at 10:28 am,

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When King Leonidas I led 300 Spartans against 300,000 Persians in Zack Snyder’s liberally embellished historical epic 300, their struggle was actually just a single drop in the ocean of the Greco-Persian Wars. As Leonidas and the 300 fought at Thermopylae, a slightly more even-handed battle was taking place off the shores of Athens.

This is the story being told in Noam Murro’s upcoming sidequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, and a new featurette for the film outlines some of the historical background, as well as introducing the main players in this arc of the story, including returning characters Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) and Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro).

Despite taking place at roughly the same time as the first movie, 300: Rise of an Empire will also have its share of flashbacks, one of which will reveal the origins of Xerxes’ “birth” as the god-king. Apparently he was once a mortal man with hair, until one day Artemisia (Eva Green) encouraged him to take a bath, at which point he turned into a bald, golden, deified monarch. As with the first movie, 300: Rise of an Empire probably shouldn’t be relied upon for historical accuracy.

Sullivan Stapleton as Themistocles in 300 Rise of an Empire 300: Rise of an Empire Featurette Promises a Bigger Story

Artemisia herself seems like a gratifyingly vicious new villain; the featurette opens with her talking about the horrors of war in the kind of tone usually reserved for erotica audiobooks. She also gets a flashback revealing that her entire family was slaughtered by Greek soldiers during her childhood, which could explain her vigor for slaying Greeks in battle.

Directly opposing Artemisia in the battles for Athens is Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton), a general who would eventually prove to be instrumental in turning the tide of the Greco-Persian war during the Battle of Salamis, which will presumably be depicted in the latter half of the film.

300: Rise of an Empire certainly looks impressive and packed with action, but will the writing be able to keep pace with the visuals? Tell us in the comments whether you think this follow-up will become as well-remembered as Snyder’s original film.


300: Rise of an Empire arrives in theaters on March 7, 2014.

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  1. Againnn with the rising.

  2. Dawn of the Age of the Rise of the Movie Returns 2: A Different First Beginning.

  3. it’s all about Xerxes

  4. I just hope it doesn’t vilify the Persians and make them look like a race of evil war-mongers and monsters again like the first did. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been received very well if they did the same to say, the Chinese.

    The film Alexander covered the topic in a much more respectful way.

    • Well, the reality of the matter was that they were just one of many people who invaded Greece and sought to slaughter and enslave. You hope they don’t vilify the Persians? They did it to themselves. Learn your history buddy. Alexander was many years later after this. By then it was a different war. F the Persians. Have you any idea what the world would be like today if Greece just decided to not do anything? Things are bad enough as they are.

      • So you think 300 accurately portrayed what happened or what the Persians were like? And you tell ME to learn my history? “F the Persians”? That attitude clearly shows that you’re not worth discussing the topic with.

        And for the record, I didn’t say Alexander was covering the same war. I said the “topic”, as in the battles between the Greeks and the Persians and one side invading the other. I’m well aware that the two films weren’t covering the same war.

      • yeah and the Greek city states are all sweethearts…try looking for both angles and not just one source

      • Well historically speaking the Persians go down in history as the most easy going empire of all time. That is to say Persian law was ‘better’ (read modern) then what many had in Greek had.

        That being said I also don’t care that the are portrayed as war-mongers because guess what, its a movie about the Spartans and from there perspective. Therefore its totally clear that the don’ go ‘Oh well these Persians sure have progressive laws and stuff’.

        • Yes, they were quite forward thinking and had the first declaration of human rights, and actually provided the exiled Jews with their freedom back in the days of Cyrus (which is quite a contrast to the leadership’s unfortunate view towards them now).

          In any case, my point was not to say how great the Persian empire was back then. I just hoped that the film wouldn’t make one race look basically evil and mock them, similar to how all the Russians were evil in American films back in the 80s, or Arabs being the bad guys after that. There’s enough anti-middle eastern sentiment in the west already, and we don’t need another film contributing to that.

          Even if it is a fantasy, it’s a fantasy based on real events and real people.

  5. At least these Hollywood types did not make the gut-less choice of making the bad-guys French. The United States has never fought a war with France and yet they are staple villains of Hollywood action movies. Those cowards do not want to offend the people who want to destroy America by offending a country that has never posed a threat to us. Hey, why not use Canadians as villains. All that nice, nice, MUST be an act…

    • Did you not see the South Park movie? ;-)

      • You must have gone to film school, dipsh1t…

  6. That was the ENTIRE POINT of the South Park movie genius.

  7. I can’t wait for this movie to come out. Most anticipated movie ever. I Already have a ticket from AMC Theatres.