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Zack Snyder is still promising a sequel to 300 and, for the first time, we have word that he’s gone from just promising to actually working on it. Snyder tells the LA Times, “We closed the writing deal on Xerxes. We started writing about a week ago. So we're doing it. It's happening.”
Xerxes is what they’re calling 300: The Next and he’s working on the script with his 300 collaborator Kurt Johnstad. 300 was based on a Frank Miller comic and Xerxes will be based on Frank Miller’s sequel to it. Actually it’s not exactly a sequel, nor is it really a sequel. It’s more of a side-jump, a movie happening in parallel to the events of 300. Snyder explains it this way:
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.
Do 300 fans care about why the Persians invaded? Wasn’t sort of the fun of 300 the fact that there wasn’t a lot of thinking and it just sort of leaped into the story of naked men stabbing each other? Maybe Snyder and Miller have been listening too much to all those Persian protest groups who had a cow because their ancient ancestors were the movie’s bad guys.
Since this is a movie happening in parallel though, that should put an end to any speculation that Gerard Butler will be back. For that matter, aside from Xerxes, it sounds like they’ll need a whole new cast. This won’t be 300, just another story told in a similar style.