Warner Bros has cast Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom) to star in 300: The Battle of Artemisia, which will be directed by Noam Murro for Warner Bros. Stapleton will play Themistokles, the Greek naval warlord, with whom the other key character, Xerxes, has a great rivalry.
There was some Internet talk that Stapleton might play Xerxes, but word is that the actor who originated that role in 300, Rodrigo Santoro is in talks to return to the role in this film. Stapleton was one of the terrific ensemble of Animal Kingdom, and he just completed a supporting role for the studio in Gangster Squad, the Ruben Fleischer-directed period crime film that stars Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin. Stapleton, who stars on the Cinemax series Strike Back, is repped by WME. ICM reps Santoro.
This looks like a smart casting move and a great opportunity for Stapleton. This NerdBastard hopes to see some great 300 style sea battles between Themistokles and Xerxes great war host.