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300: The Battle of Artemisium Finds Its Xerxes

We've known for a while now that the planned sequel to Zack Snyder's 300 will center on the character of Xerxes - in fact, early in development the title of the project was Xerxes. While the title has since changed (it's now being called 300: The Battle of Artemisium) what we didn't know is who would be playing the Persian leader, whether it would be a new name or if Rodrigo Santoro would be coming back to reprise the role. It turns out that Warner Bros. has gone with Option A.

Sullivan Stapleton, who is best known for his performance in the Oscar nominated Australian drama Animal Kingdom, has been hired to play Xerxes in 300: The Battle of Artemisium, according to Deadline. Should the story be true, he will be the first official cast member of the historical epic. Back in December it was reported that Eva Green was in talks to play Artemisia, however, that story has not been confirmed and she isn't mentioned in the Deadline article. The project is being directed by Noam Murro (2008's Smart People) and the script was written by Kurt Johnstad and Zack Snyder, who co-wrote the first 300 with Michael Gordon. Stapleton currently stars on the UK show Strike Back and will next be seen in director Ruben Fleischer's Gangster Squad.

What do you think of this casting? Do you think Stapleton is a good choice for the part? Do you wish they brought back Rodrigo Santoro for the part? Let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts, feelings and opinions in the comments section below.

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.