First Images from ’300: Rise of an Empire’ – David vs. Goliath on the Seas

Published 1 year ago by , Updated May 12th, 2013 at 7:33 am,

300 spinoff rodrigo santoro xerxes First Images from 300: Rise of an Empire   David vs. Goliath on the Seas

Zack Snyder’s 300 – based on the comic book of the same name by Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns) - was one of the more surprising successes of 2006, particularly as a (relatively) hard R comic book action film. It was so successful, in fact, that a follow-up film was bound to come down the pike at some point.

Neither a prequel nor a sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire will take place more or less concurrently with the events of 300. Today, the first official images from the film have been released. Plus, director Noam Murro and star Sullivan Stapleton (Gangster Squad) talk about what we can expect from the film and how it’ll differ from its cinematic predecessor.

For those unaware, the film will center (at least in part) on the real life Battle of Artemisium, a naval engagement fought between Greek city-states and the invading Persian Empire in 480 BC. Though it hasn’t been confirmed yet, the film will likely also detail the Battles of Salamis and Marathon and some of the back-story of Xerxes, the Persian “God King” (Rodrigo Santoro) from 300.

First, check out the images below (courtesy of USA Today):

CLICK FOR FULL-SIZE

Sullivan Stapleton in 300 Rise of an Empire 254x170 First Images from 300: Rise of an Empire   David vs. Goliath on the Seas

300 Rise of an Empire Naval Warfare 280x170 First Images from 300: Rise of an Empire   David vs. Goliath on the Seas

Obviously, the images aren’t particularly revealing or anything. The first one features Stapleton (as Greek General Themistocles) seemingly doing his best impersonation of Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas.

The second image, on the other hand, provides us but a glimpse of the naval warfare we can expect from Rise of an Empire. There doesn’t seem to be any serious warfare going on – unless you count a bunch of Greek soldiers waiting around on a boat as “serious warfare” – but it does give us an idea of how the ships and costumes will be designed. Plus, it pretty much confirms that the film will share a strong visual continuity with Zack Snyder’s adaptation.

But while the semi-sequel will be “tied visually to the original [film],” director Murro says there will be “a whole different choreography of fighting and war.” That’s because much of the action – even the melee combat – will take place on tiny boats, which will be in stark contrast to the mountainous terrain Leonidas used to his advantage in the Battle of Thermopylae.

Still, there will be plenty of similarities to the original 300 aside from aesthetic. For example, Rise of an Empire will also be a David vs. Goliath tale. Says Murro:

“The few against the many [theme] is still here. It’s hundreds vs. hundreds of thousands. It’s about taking on the mightiest power of all with wisdom and tactics.”

Star Sullivan Stapleton discussed the main antagonist of Rise of an Empire, Artemesia (played by Eva Green of Casino Royale fame), Xerxes’ second-in-command and the Persian naval commander. Says Stapleton:

“She does most of Xerxes’ dirty work in this film. She’s seeking revenge, and she does it well. She’s a force to be reckoned with.”

And according to Murro:

“She’s got sex appeal, she’s ruthless and conniving. All the things that kill men. And she has a sword. I wouldn’t mess with her.”

Lastly, Murro talked about the protagonist, Themistocles, and how he’ll differ from Leonidas and the Spartans:

“Themistocles is battle-scarred and a warrior, but at the same time he’s a politician. He’s not the king. He has to rule in a democracy. It’s a different complexity of character. These people don’t want to fight, they even say that they are not Spartans. They are common people who have to do this to not be in under the rule of a dictator. This is not a duplicate movie or a cookie-cutter. It’s a very different story to tell in keeping with the original flavor of ‘300.’ ”

It’ll be interesting to see how much audiences are clamoring to see a non-sequel to 300 not directed by Zack Snyder and not starring Gerard Butler. As successful as the first film was, is that really a recipe for success? Of course, Zack Snyder is still involved with the production – he co-wrote the screenplay and is producing – but it obviously won’t be the same.

300 battle artemisia First Images from 300: Rise of an Empire   David vs. Goliath on the Seas

Then again, that could very well be a good thing. If the film and the story go in a diametrically different direction from the original film, the filmmakers could come up with something wholly original and interesting.

Are you looking forward to 300: Rise of an Empire, Screen Ranters? Drop us a line in the comments.

300: Rise of an Empire hits theaters August 2nd, 2013.

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Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: USA Today

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TAGS: 300, 300: Rise of an Empire, xerxes

21 Comments

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  1. I’ll need to see a trailer before I can have any real feelings about it.

    • I’ll agree with that.

      A follow up to 300 (which is pretty awesome) is so far of my radar, especially at the moment with all the other yummy goodness we have coming out, that it’s gonna just have to wait it’s turn.

      I’ll let you know in 9 months when we get some actual details regarding proceedings and hopefully some footage.

    • My thoughts exactly.

  2. I hope this one doesn’t turn Persians into monsters and basically vilify an entire race like the first movie did.

    • Well, historically the Persians were pretty much the villains, buddy. I mean what would you call Nazi Germany or the Ottoman and Roman Empires? History is history. These movies are just making it a little more fantastical and stylistic to appeal to the average Joe.

      • I’m not sure many people would regard the Ottoman and Roman Empires as ‘villainous’. No more than any other empire in history. You sure you’re not comparing them with the Nazis simply because they were an Asian power that dared invade Europe?

        • That “dared” invade Europe. Ah, friend, they did not invade to set anyone free from a dictator, but rather, to conquer and control them. From most people’s perspectives, that is villainous…

          • All Empires have been “villainous” throughout History. Current empires don’t even have to invade other countries anymore to control them. Now it’s all about finacial leverage and shadow presidents/leaders to control countries.

            • When did ANY empire EVER invade to free a people from a dictator?… friend…

              • Friend, I don’t know if you and a couple others here suffer from a lack of education or the delusion of moral relativism, but I don’t have the patience to address the former or the tolerance to debate the latter. I hope that time and experience, however, will rectify both for you.

              • I think you’ll find that’s exactly what the British Empire (or what was left of it) did in World War II when it declared war on Germany after the invasion of Poland. And though not an ‘empire’ as such, that’s what America did too when it came to Britain’s aid.

      • I’m not talking about being the bad guys. That’s all a matter of perspective. The Greek leader Alexander was the bad guy from the perspective of the Persians (and whoever else) that he conquered.
        I’m not talking about Nazis either, since they weren’t just expanding land but committing genocide and other horrible acts, and are pretty much considered the bad guys by everyone.
        I’m not trying to debate history with people here.

        What 300 did was basically show the Persians as (apart from being the “bad guys”) having an effeminate king, and not even really being human (as shown when certain soldiers removed their masks). It’s like the movie was TRYING to offend Persians. If something similar was done about the Chinese (which I wouldn’t agree with either), do you think that would be tolerated in Hollywood today? Probably not. Just look at the remake of Red Dawn – and the invaders in that were not made to look nearly as bad as the Persians of 300.

        • Ah…300 was based on a graphic novel, meaning a comic book. Thus, the embellishments that you seem so offended by.

  3. I think it’ll be a hit if it’s as stunning as the first film was and story is as good or better. Bring it on.

  4. Snyder’s not directing. That sucks cause I enjoy his style more than any other action director.

  5. Will this non-sequel/non-prequel be 7yrs or so too late to be as successful as 300? 300 sucker punched us all in a good way. It was new and different. Maybe they can recapture that same magic.

    • i see what you did there

  6. 300 had that something that really captured peoples attention and got them excited. It was visually stunning and had an interesting story. But I don’t think that it followed some kind of formula that could be replicated for success. I would love to see a trailer and be convinced that it will as good or better than the 300. Until then I’ll always have the original.

  7. Themistocles was such a badass. Through his actions democracy and the cradle of western civilization were preserved. One of history’s greatest (real) heroes.

  8. I hope this film is even better than the original 300. However, I have my doubts simply because the first movie cast a very large shadow. For example, it would be like making a sequel to Forest Gump, its almost impossible to pull off.

    • THIS IS SPARTA!!!!