The sequel to Zack Snyder's 300, which has been called 300: The Battle of Artemisia but may not stay that way, has already gone into production in time to meet its August 2, 2013. But it's taken us this long to figure out what we all kind of already knew for sure-- Gerard Butler, who broke out as a star in the original 2007 film, won't be making a return appearance in this stylized comic book universe.

Talking to MTV, Butler pretty blithely said "Oh yeah, I'm not doing it. I wish them the best, but it didn't [work out]. It wasn't really my thing." Of course, given that Battle of Artemisia is a prequel to 300, and Butler's character really didn't have to be involved in the story, that's not really a surprise-- they're taking the story in a new direction for one thing, and for another, Butler is a lot more expensive than he was five years ago.

Returning from the original film, though, will be Rodrigo Santoro as the villainous Xerxes-- we talked to him earlier this summer about his preparation to return to the part, and how he'll handle getting all those piercings back in. Who knows if Battle of Artemisia can be as big a hit as 300 was, but I think we can all admit Gerard Butler's absence isn't going to make a huge difference.

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