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The new footage of 300: Rise Of An Empire shown at Comic-Con today revealed a little about this wider story – both prequel, sequel and side-quel to 300 – in the film. Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green, Sullivan Stapleton, and director Noam Murro were on hand to talk about the footage.
The footage showed that previous Persian king Darius was killed by an arrow fired by Athenian Greek commander Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), leaving his son Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) to become King. The grief-stricken young man is taken under the wing of Persian naval commander Artemisia (Eva Green), who persuades the young ruler to court dark powers and make himself a god by making a deal with dark powers.
When he returns from the desert, he has had his humanity burned away and is ready to go to war – but the implication here is that Artemisia is the real puppet-master. We also see Lena Headey’s Queen Gorgo, grief-stricken but meeting with Themistokles to prepare a response to the Persian threat, and lots of battle scenes that reflect the original’s speed-ramping and sand-coloured aesthetic. The main difference is that the Athenians here wear blue cloaks rather than Spartan crimson.
“If you took 300 and you zoomed up, you get this movie,” said Murro. “It takes place about the same time; it’s just bigger and just gives a different scale and scope to what happened historically.”
“It was very exciting to return,” said Santoro. “We get a little more about his backstory, so there’s new stuff. I had to work out a lot – no carbs, no chocolate, no fun. But the most interesting thing is his personality. He titled himself a god-king, so we had to give him that look, but I’m much more interested in what he’s going through.”
“She’s the toughest character I’ve ever played,” says Green. “She’s so ballsy, brave, independent, fearless, ruthless. I call her a ruthless Joan Of Arc. It’s kind of a gift for an actor. She’s a Greek warrior woman raised by the King of the Persians, Darius, and he made her the commander of the Persian navy. It’s complicated, because when the king dies he makes his son swear that he will end the war against the Greeks, but she’s thirsty for vengeance against the Greeks because as a child mutinous Greeks killed her family, so she makes him go against the King’s wishes. It’s so cool to play strong, crazy women onscreen and then go back home and be a nerd and listen to classical music.”
“Themistokles is a Greek general who tries to unite all the Greeks,” says Stapleton. “He’s very strong, driven; a tenacious man who wears a denim skirt.”
300: Rise Of An Empire near-finished according to Murro, and hits cinemas in March next year.
‘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.”
Despite not being released until next year, yet another poster has been released for highly anticipated sequel 300: Rise of an Empire.
The latest poster focuses on the Xeres’ forces, the villains of the sequel, and if the creepy mask and the words ‘fear us’ are anything to go by we can safely say these bad guys are going to be menacing.
The teaser image, which has been released for Comic-Con next week, suggests the new movie will follow the visual style set by Zack Snyder’s orginal movie.
Fans of 300 were concerned that by the change of director for the sequel, with Smart People director Noam Murro taking over from Zack Snyder,but this poster will ease some of their worries.
Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel Xerxes and told in the same visual style as the 2006 blockbuster movie, 300: Rise of an Empire will this time set place on the sea, as Athenian general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.
But Themistokles must face the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
300: Rise of an Empire will also star Game of Thrones actress Lena Headley and Skins actor Jack O’Connell.
The sequel, which was originally meant to hit cinemas next month, is now set to be released on March 7th, 2014.
Completely off-topic, but… in case you’re a fan of the talented Tatiana Maslany or the great TV show Orphan Black, please visit our friend Sarks‘ fansite: Tatiana Maslany Fan. She’s just recently opened it and we’re showing our support because her site rocks and deserves some promotion.
Perhaps you get to do a bit of both in the Sin City sequel, A Dame to Kill For.
I’m an upright dude trying to do right, but then Eva Green’s seductive powers are too much for me to resist.
She just wants you to save her from her abusive billionaire husband.
Please. She’s a femme fatale. Don’t take her side in this. She’s evil. [Laughs.] And it’s the second time that Eva Green and I have gotten together. We also did White Bird in a Blizzard, the Gregg Araki film. In White Bird in a Blizzard, we’re married, and in A Dame to Kill For, we’re not, but we have more sex in A Dame to Kill For. And Eva, she’s beyond cool. She is the bomb. She was such a pleasure to work with. She just really connects to the decisions we’ve made and commits to them. So great, so much fun.
Taking a clear cue from Zack Snyder’s slo-mo/ramped action, sweeping vistas, big blokes and beautiful woman attitude in 300, the sequel – directed by Noam Murro – finds Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempting to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. Set roughly concurrently, (though with some parts after) Leonidas’ battle in the original, this story pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
This time, though, the focus is more on aquatic battle than dusty sand scraps (though there’s plenty of that too). “The challenges are numerous in a sense that as technology develops, what happens is we shot this entire movie dry, meaning there was no water involved,” Murro tells MTV. “You are really in a situation that you have to create a sense that the boats are really moving and sense that they are really in water, but they’re not. It’s a challenge from a technological point of view, from a visual point of view, also for the actors and also for me in terms of trying to simulate what that would feel like.”
And while Gerard Butler isn’t back (save for a brief shot of him lying dead, at least in the trailer), Lena Headey takes a sabbatical from being evil on Game Of Thrones to be heroic as Queen Gorgo, encouraging the troops to triumph in the name of vengeance and justice.
There’s a lot of bloody water on the new 300: Rise Of An Empire poster…
Blood and water are very much the defining elements of this one, with Sullivan Stapleton’s general Themistokles looking pensive as a bloody sea rages behind him.
Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel Xerxes and told in the same visual style as Zack Snyder’s original film, this new chapter of the saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield – on the sea – as Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.
That won’t be easy, as the effort pits him against against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
Noam Murro is in charge of the carnage for this one, which will arrive across the pond on March 7, 2014 and probably not long after that over here (UK).
Read our exclusive interview with Penny Dreadful's resident vampire Robert Nairne. Find out what the Cheltenham-raised actor thinks about the show, transmogrification, Ireland and what it’s like to work with Eva Green.
Read our exclusive interview with Penny Dreadful's Lead Familiar Fady Elsayed. Find out what he had to say about working with Eva Green and listening to her recite her Arabic dialogue.
Read our exclusive interview with Vanessa Ives tarot card designer Anaïs Chareyre. Find out what she had to say about her craft, how the tarot cards came about, working with John Logan and meeting Eva Green.
Read our exclusive interview with Ian Bass, the illustrator of the Penny Dreadful special edition book The Picture of Dorian Gray. Find out what he has to say about his craft, working on the book with John Logan and who is his favorite character on the show.
Read our exclusive interview with Martin Stiff, the illustrator of the Penny Dreadful special edition book Dracula. Find out what he has to say about his craft, his favorite artists and working on the book with John Logan.
Read our exclusive interview with Louie De Martinis, the illustrator of the Penny Dreadful special edition book Frankenstein. Find out what he has to say about his craft, working on the book with John Logan and his thoughts on Frankenstein's monster.
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Penny Dreadful (2014) Role: Vanessa Ives Creator: John Logan Status: Sundays @10pm ET/PT on Showtime
A frightening psychological thriller that weaves together classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.
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In 1870s America, a peaceful American settler kills his family's murderer which unleashes the fury of a notorious gang leader. His cowardly fellow townspeople then betray him, forcing him to hunt down the outlaws alone.
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