First off, am I the only one who thinks of the Van Halen logo every time I see the golden wing things in the above Xerxes picture?
The status on a the prequel to Zack Snyder’s 300 has been development for some time. The gist being that Snyder got wrapped up in other projects (like the miserable, but visually satisfying ‘Sucker Punch’). With his latest involvement with Man of Steel he just can’t do it. Warner Bros. wants a prequel and sooner than later.
As to who might direct in Snyder’s place has been a question mark for sometime as well. Ultimately, it came down to two choices. Noam Murro and Jaume Collet-Serra.
Well, the job just went to Noam Murro as Collet-Serra recently landing the Akira gig (FYI: I’m so pissed this bastardization of a Japanese Anime and Manga is back on).
Murro may not be a recogniable name, but chances are you’ve seen his work. He’s known for those Spiffy Halo commercials (Reach and ODST. Latter is incredible!). Suffice to say, he’s an untapped writer with huge potential. Potential I think that will be squashed by taking this project. Word is, Warner Bros. wants this shot in the same visually exaggerated style that Snyder applied the first time around. To me, this is a signal that Warner Bros. cares not to embrace any vision Murro has. He’s just a hired hand to replicate Snyder’s work. Which leads me to assume that they simply want to cash in on the brand awareness rather than make an equally unique and quality film. The other indicator of a quick cash grab is the the title change. Xerxes is now 300: Battle of Artemisia. Notice how they just have to insert “300” in the title, even though the battle of the 300 have nothing to do with Xerxes early history? Point is, that in addtion to WB pushing a prequel that nobody really wants, they don’t seem putting any care into making critically acclaimed flick. Not that the original was a masterpiece by any means. It’s success was because it was original. It will take more than shirtless men and flashy visuals this time around.
Zack Snyder and 300 co-writer Kurt Johnstad wrote the script for this one last year before Zack Snyder jumped onto The Man of Steel. The script is based on Frank Miller‘s upcoming graphic novel Xerxes, which features a big opening setpiece in the Battle of Marathon, and follows Xerxes’ quest for goodhood. His rivalry with Greek naval warlord Themistocles (“almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure,” says Miller) will be a core aspect of the story. [THR]