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Joel Edgerton appears to be on the edge of superstardom. And yes, I say that knowing full well that both Warrior and The Thing underperformed. Still, participation in one major franchise is all that separates the actor from more recognizable (and bankable) stars such as Sam Worthington or Chris Hemsworth. It won’t be the still-in-development 300 prequel that propels him into the stratosphere, however.

The actor has passed on a chance to star in the installment, according to Variety reporter Jeff Sneider’s Twitter feed. Edgerton had been circling a role in what’s believed to be called 300: Battle of Artemisia, an adaptation of a graphic novel Frank Miller is working on. Noam Murro had been hired to direct the film, but Edgerton’s going in a different direction.

It might be best for all involved. As was sort of hinted at, Edgerton’s not really the kind of guy prepared to open a film to the type of number Artemisia will need to hit to afford all of its costly CGI. Then again, those who’ve seen the actor in films like Animal Kingdom or Warrior know that he’s far more capable of dramatic fare, and we’d hate to see him wasted screaming “This is Artemisia!” in front of a green screen.

Edgerton’s not hurting for work. He’s filming a part in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan and he’s been rumored to play a part in Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden drama. Maybe commitments for those films chased him off the 300 prequel, but whatever happened, he’s gone.

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