Every once in a while a good sword and sandals pictures pops up and rekindles audiences taste for stories like Spartacus and gladiators of old. 300: Rise of an Empire might just reignite the spark that gets fans clamoring about the ancient world.
The story seems pretty straightforward, with new hero Athenian General Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) joining forces with the Spartans against an invading Persian force led by god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Persian Navy Commander Artemesia (Eva Green). Add in Game of Thrones ever-smirking Lena Headey as queen of the Spartans, and the cast is ready to go.
Check out the 300: Rise of an Empire trailer below!
The preview starts off with a “Xerxes Begins” vibe, setting him up as the ultimate antagonist while sparing none of the beautiful imagery that the first film was known for. Midway through the trailer you’ll find yourself knee deep in spectacular sea battles where sword wielding soldiers sail through the air while mighty proclamations sound out about destiny, death, and honor. Sure, it all sounds vaguely familiar, but the visual effects as you expect are top notch. Not much screen time is given to Sullivan Stapleton, who’s acting chops on his show Strike Back are dubious at best, but as this can be the kind of acting that requires a six pack and five o’clock shadow as opposed to full command of the bard’s method, I suspect he’ll be fine.
Zack Snyder (director of 300) and Kurt Johnstad (writer of 300 and Act of Valor) return with an adaption of Frank Miller’s upcoming prequel graphic novel Xerxes. This promises some overall continuity as Snyder has proven himself a master at adapting graphic novel and comics material. Look no further than 300 and The Watchmen for confirmation of that. The fact the film is directed by relatively unknown director Noam Murro may be a non-issue with Snyder doing another adaptation right from Frank Miller’s storyboarding.
300: Rise of an Empire will hit theaters on March 7, 2014
Images: Warner Bros