With Zack Snyder's much-buzzed about Superman: Man of Steel making headlines left and right as of late, it's easy to forget that the filmmaker is associated with another high-profile franchise title: a semi-prequel to his breakout hit adaptation of Frank Miller's 300 - also referred to as Xerxes.
Now 300 producer Mark Canton has shed some light on the project, including its development status, why Warner Bros. is reportedly reaching out to talents like Guy Ritchie to direct it, and the film no longer being titled Xerxes.
Canton confirmed to MTV that the 300 spinoff is no longer called Xerxes, but did not elaborate on the reason why - and only jokingly suggested it would be named Xerxes Plus instead. He also indicated that - despite rumors that Warner Bros. pushed Snyder away from the film due to Sucker Punch's poor performance and reception - the studio actually wants production on the 300 prequel to begin before Snyder completes work on his Superman reboot.
Snyder has already finished and handed in a draft of the formerly-known-as-Xerxes screenplay, which Canton (naturally) says is well worth the time it took to complete. To quote:
"It’s been worth the wait. You know, that group of people [who worked on '300'], we’re really a family. That’s part of what made that movie so gratifying. Rather than doing the bad sequel, Zack led the way, we took our time. And now I think we have something that is going to be fantastic."
“This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in ’300′ were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it [sic] dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it’s a sweeping tale with gods and warriors.”
It will be interesting to see which director signs on in Snyder's place to helm the pseduo-prequel, since Snyder has a very unique and easily recognizable visual style. 300 is generally beloved for its bombastic action and overall tone; both of those could be quite different with Snyder not calling the shots on the prequel. But will moviegoers still turn out in large numbers to see it anyway?
We'll keep you posted on the status of the (not) Xerxes adapation as more information is released.