300: Rise of an Empire isn’t due out until August (which is closer than you think…), but the sequel to Zack Snyder’s stylish action flick is already enticing audiences with behind-the-scenes details. Today, we get a look at some new photos, plus detailed character descriptions for the two adversaries squaring off in Noam Murro’s film. If that’s not interesting enough, read on to find out which character from the original film will be making a return appearance in the sequel (hint: it’s not Leonidas…).
Using Frank Miller’s graphic novel Xerxes as its inspiration, 300: Rise of an Empire tells the tale of Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) as he leads a counterattack against the fierce Persian navy that's destined to change the course of a war with Eva Green’s Artemisia.
Here’s the new character blurb for Themistokles, our hero.
“Walking the line between savvy statesman and battle-hardened soldier, this Greek general has no illusions about what motivates men, kings or gods. He knows well how the game is played.
A master strategist, Themistokles holds an unflinching vision for the glory of Greece and will do whatever it takes to realize that vision—whether leading the charge on the battlefield or subtly working his influence behind the scenes.
Now, facing the onslaught of the massive Persian navy, he may be outnumbered but not out-maneuvered. Knowing there's more at stake here than his life and the lives of his men, he will gamble everything on a daring plan that could seal the fate of Greece and the future of democracy.”
Sounds a lot like a Leonidas to us…
Here’s what the dashing Themistokles will be squaring off against in Artemisia…
“A woman commanding armies in a man's world, this skilled and ruthless warrior—the real power behind Xerxes' throne—knows that the rules have never applied to her. And never will. Meeting Themistokles head-on with the Persian armada, Artemisia will set the sea on fire, assaulting Greece not only for power and glory but for vengeance, the roots of which are known only to herself… and for which she is willing to sacrifice thousands and alter the fate of nations.”
We like the idea of a female villain this time out. Hopefully the film does something interesting with it and doesn’t just coast along on the novelty of the bad guy actually being a bad girl.
And finally, it appears that 300’s David Wenham will be returning (alongside Lena Headey) for the sequel. Wenham played the one-eyed narrator of the first film.
We’re cautiously optimistic about 300: Rise of an Empire at this point. We’ve always been eager for more Spartan action, but we will admit to being a bit concerned about whether or not Noam Murro can pull this off. We’ll find out once and for all on August 2. Until then, what do you guys think? Check out more new photos at Geek Tyrant.