It was announced in July that Noam Murro (Smart People) would take the directors chair on 300: Battle of Atemisia. A spin-off of Zack Snyder's fantastical action-adventure 300, the film is based on Frank Miller’s Xerxes comic-book, which focuses on the the primary antagonist in 300 -- Xerxes.
This weekend, producers Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari provided updates on the 300 sequel at the Los Angeles press day for their upcoming tale of Olympian Gods and legendary men, Immortals.
Neither confirmed an official production schedule for Battle of Artemisia, but Canton did say that:
"Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, his writing partner, have killed it (the screenplay). They've done a tremendous job making a highly intelligent, epic story that will stand on its own. But it's not a conventional sequel and, for what we do, that's what you hope and pray for. That you can be original and authentic at the same time."
Nunnari followed up by calling Battle of Artemisia, "a work in progress... as opposed to a year ago where it was just something we wanted to do."
The story follows Xerxes through the aftermath of his father’s death and his struggle with a God complex that influences his decisions in a war against the Greek warlord Themistocles. A war that climaxes with the battle of Artemisium.
Gerard Butler's character Leonidas will reportedly appear in Miller's Xerxes, so speculation about the actor's inclusion in the new film has been rampant. When asked if Butler will play a role in the film, Canton coyly responded, "It's too early to say...but we know the answer."
Canton also said that the sequel to his campy horror Piranha 3D, entitled Piranha 3DD is "definitely coming out in January." Adding laughingly, "that's what I hear from the Weinsteins, which probably means March."
The film was originally due out on Thanksgiving weekend and was later pushed back to an undisclosed date in 2012.
Canton and James Cameron had a notoriously public confrontation over the use of 3D conversion in Piranha 3D. When asked if he expected to hear from the producer/director about the use of 3D conversion in Immortals, he said he felt that, "this is the quintessential 3D to date." Adding, "the technology to convert is there if you are prepared, and it's much more economic to shoot and convert to 3D."
Canton went on to sat that as far as Avatar is concerned he, "just didn't like the story" but that he acknowledges that, "Jim Cameron is a master filmmaker."
Immortals opens in theaters on November 11th.
We will provide updates on both 300: Battle Of Artemisia and Piranha 3DD as they emerge.
Follow me on twitter @jrothc