That sequel to 300 that nobody seems to care about anymore is still getting made, and here's a bunch of spoilers about the project.
300 was a movie that had no need of a sequel. After all, the film ends with the death of the 300 Spartans and the source comic didn't have a follow-up (though Frank Miller has since announced he's working on a story set in the same universe). But 300 made over $450 million at the worldwide box office, so it's not surprising that a another movie is in the works.
Not much has been heard of the project lately, aside from that rumor back in February that Guy Ritchie had been asked to take on directing duties because of concerns about what Zack Snyder would create. Since then, Noam Murro has been hired on as director and the movie has received the working title 300: Battle of Artemisia.
Rodrigo Santoro is reportedly set to play the role of megalomaniac Persian leader Xerxes in the movie's principal role, which - according to Moviehole - sounds like it's being set up as that of a tragic hero this time around:
Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) is somewhat pushed into the bloody battle with the Greeks by the gold-covered maven goddess Artemisia. Artemisia, witnessing just how much his father King Darius's death has affected him, persuades Xerxes - with her "vindictive charm" - to go into battle against those responsible.
Artemisia tells Xerxes that he has no choice but to avenge his father's death and has to man up before becoming king. So, he sets off to become a God because that's the only way he can win the battle.
Artemisia, on her hunt for a group of men to join Xerxes in the battle against the Greeks, doesn't stop at brainwashing Xerxes. She also manages to convince Themistocles [the part Joel Edgerton is in talks for] to side with her somewhat. Though the Persians took his family, and he's spent ten years training the Greeks for battle, Artemisia has such an allure about her that the muscly Greek is taken. Ultimately, she convinces him that his life will be better off if he swaps sides. But this guy's also as good a liar as he is a fighter.
Reportedly Murro is on the look for an actress to play Artemisia, though he wants "someone who is not a 'star'" to take on the role.
At the moment, though, this movie sounds like it's still a big gamble to make. Xerxes was by no means a likable character in 300, so trying to make him into someone the audiences will relate to is no easy task. It's been four years since the first film was released, and the buzz surrounding the brand has largely faded away. Meanwhile, although Frank Miller has been talking about his comic sequel, Xerxes, a release date for the graphic novel has yet to be revealed.
Not only that, but Miller's name doesn't carry nearly the same amount of weight in the entertainment world that it used to. It's been a while since he produced a comic that was nearly as celebrated as his work from the 1980s and 90s like Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, 300, and Sin City. Instead, he's created comics like The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Holy Terror, and All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder (not to mention the laughably terrible movie The Spirit).
If nothing else, though, maybe we'll get to hear Xerxes say "I'm the goddamn emperor" to across theaters nationwide.