Warner Bros. Wants Guy Ritchie to Direct ’300′ Spin-Off ‘Xerxes’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2013 at 10:29 am,

Guy Ritchie has been busy lately wrapping up work on the newly named Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and it looks like the director won’t have much time to rest.

According to an exclusive report from Vulture, Warner Bros. is looking to work with the Sherlock Holmes director again for Xerxes, a pseudo-prequel to Frank Miller’s graphic novel, 300. As you’ll likely recall, 300 was turned into an epic action movie by Superman director Zack Snyder, pretty much launching the director into his big-time Hollywood career.

In fact, the last time we wrote about Xerxes, Snyder was busy working on the script for the film and being looked at as its likely director. So what happened that made Warner Bros. want to go with Richie instead of Snyder?

Vulture offers a few reasonable guesses, none of which paint a particularly pretty picture for Snyder. One rumor is that Warner Bros. wants Snyder to focus all of his attention on completing Superman: Man of Steel, which is said to have some “major third-act problems” (The script was criticized in reports back in October as well).

Because of the long-standing legal drama associated with Superman, it’s important that Warner Bros. starts production on the film before 2013. If they don’t, the studio will lose the Superman franchise rights to the estates of the original creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Another rumor is that Warner Bros. is unhappy with Snyder’s upcoming film, Sucker Punch. As a big-time Snyder fan, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the high-energy Sucker Punch since I first saw footage of the film at Comic-Con. However, I know that Snyder’s style doesn’t work for all filmgoers (as demonstrated by the lackluster box office response to Watchmen).

According to a Vulture insider, test audiences for Sucker Punch have been fairly negative in reviewing the film and Warner Bros. is worried about the finished product. Personally, I’m still interested in seeing Sucker Punch, and I know a lot of my Screen Rant colleagues agree. While test audiences are certainly useful, they don’t always accurately reflect the quality of a film, merely its projected success. Of course, in Hollywood, the bottom line is really all that matters.

Naturally, Richie’s version of Xerxes would be much, much different than 300, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. Ritchie also has a unique visual style that I like, and he is definitely a good candidate to bring Miller’s graphic novel to life on the big screen.

Source: Vulture

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TAGS: xerxes

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  1. I think Snyder’s movies are brilliant……. It’s unfortunate many people don’t see that.

  2. Hmmm…
    “However, I know that Snyder’s style doesn’t work for all filmgoers (as demonstrated by the lackluster box office response to Watchmen).”

    Snyder pulled off what’s considered one of the best literal adaptations of any comic story. Obviously it was the story itself which demonstrated lackluster box office appeal, as it was a very niche and little known story outside it’s small fan base. Marketing too perhaps, but it would be unfair to lay any blame at the feet of Snyder.

    • Alan Moore himself did not like the film. I’m a huge comic book film fan and I thought Zack Snyder failed miserably at adapting Watchmen. Same goes for his Guardian film. His over use of slo mo is appalling.

      • Alan Moore doesn’t like much of his creations as film period. I liked Watchmen; I don’t think it was a fail, but I did have some points as to what I didn’t like (music threw off the presence as to what the film is trying to portray, the elongated sex scene, the premature reveal of Comedian’s murderer in the beginning). Did it ruin the movie for me? Not at all but I enjoyed it. Didn’t see Guardian’s; I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I don’t think I want to watch owls, especially talking ones :D

  3. No! Snyder needs Xerxes to remind audiences of why they liked him in the first place. The financial success of Superman is iffy. The reboot is still carrying the baggage of Returns. Like Batman Begins’ box office was depressed due to bad memories of Batman and Robin. The Superman franchise broke Singer’s reputation and killed the careers of the writers and actor. An “under-performing” Superman movie will break Snyder, like it broke Singer! Snyder needs Xerxes as his safety net! This is terrible news.

    • Singer did go on to do Valkyrie with Tom Cruise…….. but I understand your point.

  4. I’ll take a film on Xerxes’ father, Darius, over a film on Xerxes. Kid was entirely overindulged.

  5. Guy Ritchie is a much more skilled filmmaker than that hack, Zack Snyder.

    • Someone is rather rude. A hack? Maybe you are not a fan of his work,but dont spit on the mans talent and vision. If anyone is a hack, lets discuss the misery that is Uwe Boll

  6. I like Ritchie but only Snyder should direct this

  7. I love how everyone keyed in on the him not directing Xeres, but did you all skip the part where they state there are major issues with the third act of Superman, see this is where the studio should stop everything and say here, and hand Snyder a copy of Birthright or Earth one and say make it. They should not do an original story at this point it would appear that WB is not capable of putting a great Superman story together, so when that fails use a great superman story that has already been written.

  8. Would love to see Snyder do a MechWarrior movie based in the BattelTech universe. He has the gritty look and feel it would need and his style is perfect for the era and civilization the novels have always described.

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