It's been officially confirmed that director Zack Snyder has started working on the film for Frank Miller's prequel/sequel to 300 called Xerxes! According to Snyder they closed the writing deal, and have been working on the script now for about a week. He is working on writing the script with his 300 collaborator Kurt Johnstad. Snyder went on to clarify, "So we're doing it. It's happening."
As of right now he is only signed on to write the film. A directing deal for Snyder has yet to be made, but I'm sure everything will all work out.
"It's really going to depend on what the studio wants to do and what we do when we finish; I don't have a directing deal in place but we are writing it, so call it intent," Snyder said with a chuckle "If there was a crime they could probably convict me."
I was a big fan of 300, and I love the actual history that these stories are based off of. There are so many different directions this sequel/prequel could have gone, but I think this Xerxes route is going to be awesome. Snyder goes on to explain the story and gives a brief history lesson.
This movie follows Themistocles and the Battle of Artemisium, which coincidentally happens on the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae [which was the basis of '300'], This one starts off with a quick retelling of the why of the Persian wars. It starts off at the Battle of Marathon and then it goes back to Themistocles finding out that Persians are invading again. and off we go over to learn a little bit about why Xerxes is the way he is.
Darius [the Persian king and father of Xerxes] gets wounded at Marathon and he's super cool and like a great guy. Even the Greeks are like, 'Darius is awesome.' After Darius dies, Xerxes is so distraught, but Darius had told him, 'Don't attack the Greeks, only a god can punish the Greeks.' So that's when he calls his mystics and wizards and says, 'Make me a god so I can avenge my father.'
Sounds good so far! Snyder continues:
What I said to the studio is that '300' gave everyone a chance to fight alongside a super warrior, a chance to fight alongside these Spartan warriors that you could never fight against; but Themistocles is different, he is us, It's much more about the everyman.
Themistocles is kind of the father of democracy. It's much more about these guys choosing. The Spartans are, 'We fight, we die,' so that's an easy choice for them, there's no surrender. The cool thing about Themistocles and his gang is that it's way more difficult. Things aren't as clear or unchallenged. He has to be more political to get everyone to agree. It's political, in the soap-opera sense of the word. There's a relationship with Leonidas ... and ... well, we'll see where it all goes.
Snyder has yet to lock Gerard Butler for the role of Leonidas who he played in 300, but it would be cool if he ended up reprising his role. It was also revealed that the movie would be the same universe visually, which is one of the things I loved about 300. I'm excited for this film project! This story should make for a pretty freakin' cool film.
Heres the synopsis of the comic book Miller has written:
Here's the product description:
Xerxes rose to power in fifth-century-BC Persia and became known as 'The King of Kings,' eventually raising and leading a massive army intent on ruthlessly destroying the hated Greeks who killed his father. Xerxes seeks nothing less than to become a god himself -- and achieves his wish!
What do you all think about Snyder going back to work on this Xerxes film project?