Xerxes Retitled 300: Battle of Artemisia, Noam Murro Or Jaume Collet-Serra May Direct
Nobody on this planet expected Zack Snyder's 300 to be the box office smash that it was. Raking in more than $450 million worldwide on a $65 million budget, the film was such a success that when a spin-off called Xerxes was presented, the studio gave it an immediate greenlight. The problem? That was all the way back in 2007, and very little has been done since to actually get the movie in motion. While bits and pieces about the project have leaked out over the years, a fairly devastating blow was delivered earlier this year when it was reported that Zack Snyder wouldn't be helming the project himself. Still, optimism has kept the film on the horizon and now it may finally be getting close to a start date.
Deadline has learned that Warner Bros. has narrowed director choices down to Noam Murro or Jaume Collet-Serra, for the project, which will now be titled 300: Battle of Artemisia. Though Snyder has been busy trying to get Man of Steel ready for production, he has apparently been very hands-on during the search for a director. The script was written by Snyder along with Kurt Johnstad as an adaptation of the graphic novel written and illustrated by Frank Miller. A prequel of sorts, the film will detail how Xerxes, the leader of the Persian army portrayed by Rodrigo Santoro in 300, rose to power.
Murro only has one completed feature on his resume, the 2008 dramedy Smart People, but is also attached to direct Die Hard 5, which is currently in pre-production. As for Collet-Serra, his background is largely in horror, having made the abysmal 2005 House of Wax remake and the fairly-ridiculous Orphan in 2009. His most recent effort was the Liam Neeson-starring Unknown, which earned Warner Bros. a nice chunk of change when it was released in February.
I will now toss an honest question to you lovely, lovely readers: do you still have any real interest in seeing a 300 spinoff? Time and reflection hasn't done Snyder's film many favors, and I'm curious if the core fanbase is still passionate. I suppose if I don't get my answer here I can always wait to see how Immortals does at the box office,
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