‘300: Rise of an Empire’ Trailer and Poster – The Sea Will Run Red with Blood

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 16th, 2014 at 2:54 pm,

Zack Snyder’s stylishly violent swords and sandals epic, 300, was a surprise box office smash (taking in $456 million worldwide in the spring of 2007), but no one kids themselves into believing that his cinematic vision was not responsible for that chest-beating comic book adaptation being so enjoyable to watch. This is why the upcoming sequel/prequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, has prompted more wariness than excitement, as Snyder passed on directing to make Man of Steel instead.

Rise of an Empire is based on Frank Miller’s 300 companion graphic novel “Xerxes,” which Snyder and his 300 co-writer Kurt Johnstad adapted into a script. The film centers around the Battle of Artemisium, a naval conflict that pitted the Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) against the vengeful commander of the Persian navy, Artemesia (Eva Green), and the Persian leader Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), who had developed a major god complex by that point.

As expected, the newly-released Rise of an Empire trailer appeals heavily to everyone’s nostalgia for the first movie, between shots of Xerxes leering over King Leonidas’ (Gerard Butler’s) corpse and the VO narration by Lena Headey – who’s now a bigger star thanks to Game of Thrones – reprising as Queen Gorgo. That’s in spite of the fact that neither 300 lead is expected to make anything more than a glorified cameo in the new installment (a misleading, but smart, marketing angle to take).


300 rise empire poster 570x842 300: Rise of an Empire Trailer and Poster   The Sea Will Run Red with Blood

The Battle of Artemisium occurred at the same time as the Battle of Thermopylae depicted in 300; hence, Rise of an Empire is described as being a 300 “mid-quel” rather than either a pure sequel or prequel. The Rise of an Empire director Noam Murro has said the film will offer a “whole different choreography of fighting and war,” which could be an effective means to distinguish the movie from Snyder’s brazen storytelling and action coordination in its predecessor. (Or, it could just be an excuse for why Murro’s adaptation feels like a hollow knockoff.)

So far, based on the trailer, the digitally-enhanced visuals and cinematography in Rise of an Empire seem decent, but they lack that extra “oomph” factor and flair that Snyder brought to the proceedings. And bless Stapleton for effort, but he doesn’t seem to possess either the macho presence or yelling capacity that made Butler so memorable as a Greek warrior. Maybe Green playing a treacherous warrior lady will make up for that…?


300: Rise of an Empire opens in U.S. theaters on March 7th, 2014.

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

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  1. It’s better looking than I thought it would be.

    Also, @1:50…Damn….

    • They always look better around closing time, and that’s the honky-tonk truth, and…oh, wait–that’s something else…never mind.

    • “Clash of civilizations” propaganda continues in Hollywood as well !
      Yeah, heroic Greeks representing us not only in science and philosophy, civilization and culture, but also in wars and battles, and Hollywood movies, as they defending democracy, freedom and civilization (?!) against invading barbarians (?!) from the east – Troy, Xerxes, Saladin, Ahmadinejad, Asad, Palestinians,… whole bunch.
      However, I always believed in lessons learned in schools from my professors, that (hi)story flowed actually other way around !
      (this isn’t reply to COmeON post)

      • yeah right! Persians were more democratic than the Greeks… r u for real?

  2. This trailer made me realize how important Butler was to the first film.
    A ”mid-quel”? Just what the hell is that apart from a linguistic ear ache.

    I tended to think from the beginning this was an excuse of a film
    to capitalize off another with no real other point than that
    and nothing in this trailer leads to to think otherwise.

  3. Looks great but yeah Stapleton is no Bulter

  4. It looks a lot better than I was expecting. March is a long wait though. I’m surprised they pushed a trailer out so early.

    • I’m guessing that WB wanted to premiere it with Man of Steel to get additional exposure, similar to why the studio released the Hobbit:Desolation of Smaug trailer this week (unfinished CGI and all).

      • Makes sense!

  5. Now everybody say it with me ” THIS IS SPARTA “


    • I LOVE LAMP!

  6. I also believe it looks good, but not as good as the original. Butler and supporting cast were a real presence in 300. Hard to judge from a trailer, but this cast does not impress as much.

  7. Eaaaasy now SR… give Stapleton a chance. I’m a huge fan of his show on Cinemax and he has done a great job on that show. Lets face it, there is only one 300… it was a MONSTER of a movie, but lets not write this one off premature. I get the feeling this one will inspire some of the same raw emotion as the first… at least I hope it does.

    • Heh, no worries, I’m not writing him off completely.

      Maybe it’ll turn out the trailer just failed to do Stapleton justice, we’ll see.

    • Yeah he is great in Strike Back

  8. loved 300 and this looks pretty epic

  9. Although this is no 300 with GB, I do think this is better than expected. Stapleton is an alright actor but we shall see if he can carry a big movie like this. I hope he proves me wrong and ends up making this movie a success like 300 and GB.

  10. Im sure you meant, In *Spite…. not spit 😉

    • Ha, that I do, thanks for the catch.

      It’s been corrected.

  11. I am sure I will watch this one on Netflix when it comes out. The first one was watchable (although not the clasic of the universe or anything). Only thing is, I hope Xerxes does not look like such a fembot in this one. Kind of like some of the Egyptian characters in Stargate’s franchise (guys gussied up in eyeshadow and stuff until you can’t identify their gender unless you flip ’em over like an appendaged flapjack). What is it with people in that neck of the woods, can’t they look like Patton or Reagan or John Wayne or Charlton Heston or Popeye or someone macho and manly?!

    • I got a chuckle from your comments. You are forgetting about the cast of 300, and how chiseled and manly they looked.

      Now I do hope, Goldilocks, that you are a female, else I could say a thing or two about your chosen screen name…


      • Oooh sick burnnn…

      • Nope, sorry, no date for Goldilocks wanna-goosers! I am a 55 year old male (who looks like I am in about my 30s or early 40s–guess I’m well-preserved), and think of myself as 25 years old on rocket-fuel. I get my long-term nick-name from the fact that I have blond curly hair.

        • The painted-on abs really added to their “chiseled and manly” appearance.

          • Yes, obviously, but you can’t deny that they were in good shape, and nothing like the “fembots” that Goldilocks complained about.

            • I am thinking of the character who was Xerxes, not the other warriors. As I recall, he was dolled up like a Revlon commercial. I realize scottish warriors wore blue paint and sometimes even fought naked, as did actually some berserker Scandanavian warriors (unless they wore a bearskin and jerkin or something), but sorry, I just cannot quite imagine a king like Xerxes dolled up for battle like a Revlon commercial.

    • This comment makes absolutely no sense. Men all over the world wear paint, oils (that’s what make up is, duh) for ceremonial garb, warrior rituals and/or national pride. Xerxes is a monster of a villain and his male-beauty is part of why he views himself as a god. If you hook your masculine ideals on John Wayne and company, I feel for you. A man is a man, and whether he’s made up or whatever…he’s no less of a man than you are, and you’re no more of a man than anyone else because you posture and purposefully try and look or act manly. It’s 2013. Are you seriously making comments like this? And for the record, those gussied up men…get all the girls. John Wayne never got girls crying and screaming over him like Prince did/and still does. Learn something about men and real masculinity.

      • Take your political correctness, put it in a pipe, and smoke it! Both real men, and real women, don’t need accessories.

        • Are you kidding me? Political Correctness? Your pathetic attempt to demean people’s expression is hypocritical and obvious. No one cares about your posturing or your screwed up imaginings of what masculinity is. Your caveman mentality is not only irrelevant but outdated and unpopular. How’s that John Wayne get’up doing you? lol Lame.

        • Not to mention, you failed to even understand the point of my post. That accessories don’t MATTER…that a man, is a man, is a man. That’s what I wrote right there for the world to see. You apparently have poor reading comprehension skills, because it’s rather obvious what I was saying. Duh.

          • It was you who first belittled and demeaned people’s expressions, my arrogant and elitist friend, as it was obvious that you took great exception and offense to people implying that real men are something other than your all-inclusive definition. Must be terrible for you, knowing that there are still us brutes out here who attach certain qualities and characteristics to what a real man should be. Yes, even in today’s world, most would agree that there are differences between a “mere” man and a “real” man, just as their are differences between the assured and the confused, the independent and the dependent, the giving and the selfish, the moral and the immoral, the emotionally strong and the emotionally weak, the reserved and the vain, etc., etc., etc. Now, no offense intended friend, but again, take your political correctness, put it in a pipe, and smoke it.

            • LMAO. “brute…” “real man…”!!! LMAO…are you serious? You just proved my point. Thank you, annnnnd cut. LOL. You clearly aren’t the kind of man you WANT to be! LOL All that posturing and you fall short in your own eyes. That must be a terrible existence for you. Don’t worry, you’ll age out of the modern era soon enough. All you dinosaurs do. lol Priceless. I love when people say my point in their defense. LOL! LMAO.

              • Is that all you have left, to allege that I am making your point? I thought your motive was to convince me and others…not yourself. In the former, you are failing, and if you believe you are succeeding in the latter, I assure you, it is your own arrogance and elitism making it so. But for all I know, I am debating an inexperienced and naive 12-year-old, so it’s best I stop wasting my time. May life’s journey serve to better educate, enlighten, and humble you a bit, as well as expand your perspective from the “everything is gray” mentality…

  12. I do have to admit this trailer was kinda cool, but I really have no interest in this film. I didn’t see 300 until this year and honestly, I thought it was pretty overrated. Cool action, but it got old after a while, and the story was pretty weak.

    Regarding this film: No Butler, no Snyder, and it’s being directed by some guy who’s only previous film was a rom-com? No thank you.

  13. Will wait for a rental. It looks like they are trying way too hard to make a naval battle interesting (Horses and Water Bro!).

    Not to mention I don’t really care about the rest of the story, because as the they seem to know with the title… the *300* part was what was so awesome about the legend/story of the original.

    • Was that what you call a “sea-horse”?

      • Someone call the SPCA! That is taking “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” a little too far!

  14. I wasn’t aware that Lena Headey would be reprising her role–which is enough to get me in the theatre. The film has a beautiful look but there’s really nothing that stands out as being as striking as the original in terms of emotion, performance or dialogue. I’m glad they’ve brought Ms. Headey and the superb David Wenham back at the very least.

    • Yeah, wasn’t it that she was essentially doing an intro cameo?
      She appears to have a significant amount of screen time.
      Which, of course, is always welcomed to be sure.

      • Either that or we’ve managed to see her the bulk of her performance with this trailer.

        Also, the blue capes don’t stand out nearly as well as 300’s red.

        • I was starting to think the same.

          They know she is a draw and they
          tried to leave the impression we would
          be seeing a lot of her in this like the last.

  15. I’ll pass for now.

    I saw the original a few years ago but only got 30 minutes in and switched off. Incredibly dull movie that just couldn’t keep me interested.

    • Dazz, for once you and I are in agreement. :O

    • That’s exactly what I did. I’ve never watched the rest of 300 to this day. Don’t plan to.

  16. I’ll see it in theatres, but it won’t be as good as 300. Funny the director is quoted as saying the fights are choreographed differently than 300, but I swear I saw the This is Sparta-kick and the (not as big of a deal) jumping shield smash. The fights didn’t look much different, is all. I like Heady tho. It won’t be a bad movie.

  17. Never saw the first one this looks impressive though

    • I and many believe the first 300 film was great.

      When you’re annoyed by political correctness, when you’ve had enough of the sensitive crowd harping on getting in touch with your emotions, feelings, and inner self, when you’re tired of men acting like women, and when you need a reminder that there are things worth fighting and dying for, particulary freedom and liberty…

      Watch 300.

      • Plus, it just has some great action scenes as well, and it is visually stunning, as almost any frame of the movie could be a work of art.

  18. Scissor Me Xerxes!!

    • Scissor me timbers :-)

  19. I hope this is great but I wouldn’t bet on it

  20. If they ever get around to making God of War (based on the game) I know I want to see Zach Snyder directing it.

  21. The Athenians were of a totally different mindset than that of the Spartans. So Stapleton not being as macho as Butler has much to do with that different characteristic. I love how this article writes this movie off while attempting to appear neutral. The same for all the overly sensitive pencil necks who know nothing of history. Yes, the first film altered a few things and added that element of mythology and fantasy but the Persian invasion and the battle of Thermopylae took place. The tomb of the 300 exists. So get over your little artsy fartsy selfs. If a movie like 300 couldn’t keep you interested then you need to check your testosterone levels and you probably haven’t fought for anything in your pathetic life.

    • LOL +1

  22. Anyone here know what’s up with the graphic novel?

    I’m a huge Frank Miller fan & would have liked to read it before seeing the movie, but searching through google it looks like 2010 was the last time it was even mentioned….

    Every article about this movie states “based on the graphic novel Xerxes….”

  23. I am assuming that because my work computer has IE 7 is the reason there is no video.

  24. Are they really calling this a “mid-quel”?
    That’s kind of funny. :)
    Now that I think about it though isn’t that what The Bourne Legacy was?

  25. Like how the end of the trailer was just the beginning part of it. Trying to make it look more epic with Xerses wielding an axe.

  26. Im so not feeling this trailer, so rather than ruin the 300 name I wont be seeing it.

  27. 300 was an OK movie if you’re into muscular men swinging swords in slow motion, which is what I am (the viewing of a movie about.. I’m not a muscular man swinging a sword. Certainly not right now. I imagine it would be quite hard typing with one hand and swinging a sword with the other)

    anyway.. Before 300 was filmed I read the book “gates of fire” by Steven Pressfield. Twice, I liked it that much. 300 doesn’t even come close to equal the experience. I highly recommend it to people looking for a more in depth approach to the story.

    I’ll give this movie a look but i don’t expect much more than a nice sword swingin action flick.

  28. “Clash of civilizations” propaganda continues in Hollywood as well !
    Yeah, heroic Greeks representing us not only in science and philosophy, civilization and culture, but also in wars and battles, and Hollywood movies, as they defending democracy, freedom and civilization (?!) against invading barbarians (?!) from the east – Troy, Xerxes, Saladin, Ahmadinejad, Asad, Palestinians,… whole bunch.
    However, I always believed in lessons learned in schools from my professors, that (hi)story flowed actually other way around !

    PS. Indeed, I read Steven Pressfield’s “Gate Of Fire” long before “300” and it’s somewhat different feeling – I would advised everyone to read the book, not just because books are always better then films, instead film is too much an open hate/warmongering crap, at least for my taste.

  29. I think this looks equal to if not better than 300. I get a sense we will get deeper story and character development with great action( not at al to say the character development wasn’t there before). I just see more coming with this movie. I’m there either way.