By Nick Romano
‘300: Rise of an Empire‘ was among the many offerings from Legendary Pictures’ Comic-Con 2013 panel presentations on Saturday, Jul. 20 in Hall H. Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel ‘Xerxes,’ the prequel to ’300′ was originally slated to hit theaters this August but was later moved to March 7, 2014, naturally increasing its level of mystery.
’300: Rise of an Empire’ takes the action to a fresh battlefield — on the sea — as Greek general Themistokles pitted against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy. The film is directed by Noam Murro, stars Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, and is set for release on March 7, 2014.
The panel debuted a new, extended trailer for ‘300: Rise of an Empire,’ featuring an extended look at the story that drives the film.
“If you took 300 and you zoomed out, I think this movie is all about,” said Murro. “It gives you a whole new scale and scope to what happened historically.”
“She’s the toughest character I’ve ever played, its always been a fantasy to play a woman with swords … she’s ballsy. I call her a ruthless Joan of Arc,” said Evan Green on her character Artemisia. “She’s a Greek warrior woman raised by the king of the Persian empire. And he made her the commander of the Persian navy.” When the king dies, he makes his son swear to end the war with the Greeks, but Artemisia is so driven for revenge. “She’ll throw herself head first into battle.”
The same could be said for Sullivan Stapleton, who was excited to act with all the weapons. “I’m a guy,” he says, “I get to play with swords.”
Rodrigo is essentially shirtless and hairless the entire time, which meant no carbs, no sweets for Rodrigo. “We had to have that god look,” he said. “I’m more interested in his personality … He had his reasons for doing what he was doing … You’re going to get to understand where he was coming from.”
Effects-wise, there’s so much green screen that Murro, upon coming home after shooting, took out all green from his wardrobe, as he was so sick of seeing the color. But the rig and parts of the boats were among the massive sets actually used in the film. But, as Murro says, they were all surrounded by green. During certain scenes, Eva Green had to look at a giant stick when filming scenes with Rodrigo, who in turn, had to act opposite a tennis ball.
“There are very distinct few battles in the movie an they have their own distinct look and style … from a naval point of view how do you imagine it and solve it.”
“We’re almost done with this,” said Murro, “but there’s still some more work.”