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UPDATE!! In That New 300 Movie Spin-Off Thingy, [???Themistocles???] And Artemisia Will Be Played By...

Merrick again...

As of this update, THR's report still has Stapleton playing Xerxes.  HOWEVER, other outlets are now saying that while Stapleton is gonna be appearing in the film, he may not necessarily be Xerxes (THIS piece in Variety doesn't seem sure, THIS piece in Deadline says he's Themistocles- who fights Xerxes,- which makes more sense than his playing Xerxes...but it's Hollywood...)

if Stapleton is, indeed, playing Themistocles instead of Xerxes, might this feasibly pave the way for Rodrigo Santoro to reprise the Xerxes role he played in 300, as Deadline suggests?    He was so striking and compelling and memorable in that picture...I'd hate to see the role unnecessarily recast...

More as we know more...


--- Original article follows... ---





Merrick here...

ANIMAL KINGDOM's Sullivan Stapleton, who will also appear in Ruben Fleischer's GANGSTER SQUAD with Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn....



...will play Xerxes in a 300-verse film described thusly by THR

The follow-up to 2006's Gerard Butler action pic 300 sees the Persian king-turned-god Xerxes lead an army against Greek forces, who have little training but are under the guidance of a general named Themistokles. (The giant battle at the center of this movie is supposed to occur at the same time as the fighting in 300.)

Xerxes was portrayed by Rodrigo Santoro in Zack Snyder's 2006 picture.  If THR's report is accurate, not sure how he can be two places at once?  I'm assuming some time separation (this new film precedes 300 is what I hear...)

Santoro's Xerxes was blinged out in Snyder's film... I'm wondering if the character will have a different stylist in this new movie? 

THR's sources are also telling them that Eva Green will play Artemisia the film - which'll be directed by Noam Murro.  Murro directed 2008's SMART PEOPLE as well as a number of memorable commercials, and was once the helmer of the new DIE HARD movie (BEHIND ENEMY LINES' John Moore now has that gig).   

You can see reels of Murro's impressive work HERE



--- follow Merrick on Twiter ! ---

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Any sql will suck

    by Nick Friesen

    And First.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    bad idea

    by Stifler's Mom

    that is all.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    This movie is going to fucking stink!!!!

    by DJEagles11

    Jesus Fuck, leave it alone. What the fuck.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    binged or blinged?


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    I thought this was supposed to be about Marathon

    by Jaster Mareel

    ......this is gonna suck.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST


    by bah

    Seriously, Lost fans, that's Paulo there.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Now that Frank Miller is a cranky old fascist...

    by wash

    Fuck him and any projects related to him. Also, because it's bound to suck anyway.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Not Impressed

    by El Cimarron

    why couldnt they keep the brown guy?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST


    by Righteous Brother

    I think Michael Mann had the option for Gates of Fire too. So did George Clooney - could have been amazing.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller's always been a "fascist."

    by Blue_Demon

    I remember reading back in '86 how the left wasn't too pleased with the tone of The Dark Knight Returns. While you're boycotting, you may want to include the new Batman movie. Bane was created by Chuck Dixon, I believe. I think he would fall under your definition of fascist. Hell...if I boycotted stuff by actors and directors who are leftish, I'd be watching ... paint dry. I disagree with Matt Damon's politics but I still love the Bourne movies. I don't consider a celebrity's fame the same as "significance." I still think this movie is a bad idea, though. 300 should be a stand-alone movie.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10 a.m. CST

    I read Gates of Fire years ago...

    by Blue_Demon

    ...and yeah, that would be one great movie. Alas, Snyder struck first.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Leonidas telling story of Hercules would have been better..


    Years ago I had this idea that a really cool "prequel" to 300 would simply be Leonidas narrating the tale of Hercules and his 12 deeds. Since he mentioned they were descendants of Hercules himself I thought it would be pretty neat. First off it would be cool to see the tale of Hercules shown in the style of 300. Secondly, as this "news" has shown us, any other kind of prequel or sequel set in the 300 universe just isn't interesting enough IMO.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    This story is all wrong

    by shaggy-g

    Yikes. Spreading some bad info from THR here. Stapleton is playing Themosticles. Santoro will be back as Xerxes. Themosticles was a Naval general from Athens who fought the Persians on the sea at the same time as the battle of Thermopalae.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Need more gay.....300 wasn't quite gay enuff..

    by cameron


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Nope, Batman: Year One was pretty liberal

    by Jaster Mareel

    At least when he smashes in on the rich and tells them the hoarding money party's over.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    They must be delusional if they think...

    by Huey_Freemans_afro

    anybody still gives a shit about 300. No one was clamoring for a sequel at any point.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    this isnt going straight to DVD yet?

    by sunwukong86

    It has a theatrical release now but Id be surprised if it keeps it

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    I wouldn't exactly call Miller a "fascist"...

    by Huey_Freemans_afro

    Maybe a xenophobe. He certainly has no sympathy for anyone except for the relationships between old men and really young girls.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST


    by Blue_Demon

    I'll have to re-read that one. I remember reading about how they considered TDK as "bad" as those horrible, mean Dirty Harry movies. But he did caricature Reagan as a buffoon. He also showed a hypocritical lefty in the T interviews in TDK: "What? No, I'd never live in the city." He may have gotten crankier as he got older? Hell...Yoko Ono changed her tune regarding freeing prisoners from Attica. But reality tends to do that. (A certain guy named Mark David Chapman was a factor.)

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Can't have the main character be non-white...

    by jimmy_009

    ... seriously Hollywood?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST

    I Love The Smell of Rampant Negativity In the Morning

    by Crow3711

    Talkbackers: never fail to amuse. Even if, and let's be honest, this does sound like a pretty bad idea. And from the guy who made Smart People....that's just bizarre.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    And while Were At It...

    by Crow3711

    How bad is Die Hard 5 (A Good Day to Die Hard) gonna be, from the behind enemy lines guy? What is wrong with Bruce Willis? Of all Peolle he should understand why die hard rules. And he clearly has no idea if he keeps doing this shit

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Not necessarily Xerxes if you read Variety...

    by akirakid

    Stapleton wouldn't necessarily be playing Xerxes, as was originally thought. Sources say the film, originally rooted as a prequel, is neither a prequel or a sequel and that the filmmakers are still figuring out its positioning.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:56 a.m. CST

    What was wrong with Santoro?

    by somdawg

    One of the most striking performances in 300 was given by this guy. Why recast the part? Strange.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    He's the Tom Cruise of Brazil! Maybe the dude was busy, I don't know. Although as a couple people up above mentioned, the details of this story might be wrong.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST

    From Dhalsim to a white dude...

    by kidicarus

    Seriously, can they at least TRY to get someone that looks even vaguely Persian?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:17 a.m. CST


    by KilliK

  • That would at least make more sense, wouldn't it?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST


    by buggerbugger

    I still can't quite decide if that looks better or worse than: John (FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX remake) Moore, or John (THE OMEN remake) Moore, or even John (MAX PAYNE adaptation) Moore There's really not a lot to work with, is there?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Xerxes can be in two places at once...

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    ...because he IS a god! Duh, you dumb fuck. Alright, fuck all that. This sounds like it has possibilities, as long as it's a goddam deal more than "300" or any of it's brain-dead imitators - "Titans" and "Immortals", I'm looking at you. "Troy" would be more like it.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:33 p.m. CST

    300 would have been great if they...

    by gus

    removed all the dialog...the film looked amazing but everytime a person spoke it ruined the scene...should have made it like the artist....

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Shaggy G

    by IceTitan

    I like the way you cast it better, it makes way more sense that Santoro is back with Stapleton as the hero. Thanks for the cool correction!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Gates Of Fire

    by Lemmys_E_string

    ....would have been fantastic, as would the equally great "Killing Romell", if Disney had grown a pair. Stephen Pressed can do no wrong as far as writing historical based stories are concerned. His books are like stepping into a time machine.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:43 p.m. CST


    by Lemmys_E_string

    Pressfield! Damn phone.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST


    by rahtard

    Yeah pretty liberal when you think about the person who is doing that is an ultra rich facist sociopath himself. Batman/Bruce Wayne is the epitome of a person with a black and white world view that doesn't correspond with society's norm. Therefore, he's a socipath and pretty facist. So I would hardly call Year One liberal.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    He can be in two places at once

    by rahtard

    We're talking about mythological time and a being, especially a man-god can appear at two places at once. Its a pretty common element. So to raise real world objections to mythology is pretty weak.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Most conservative movie of all time: Lord of the Rings

    by locke815

    So all these lefties planning to sit out a 300 prequel might need to re-think things.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Xerxes in Synder's movie represented Miller's...

    by TopHat

    ...idea of what a Commie Liberal is. If there ever was a movie that represented what goes on in the mind of a Neo-Conservative, 300 is it.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST


    by KilliK

    Although 300 was a work of fiction,it was based on a real historical event.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    AICN Fix the article

    by P862010

    that guy is not Xerxes deadline even says he is playing Themistocles get your shit straight

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Yup Stapleton is Themosticles

    by shaggy-g

    It's funny that he ultimately took the role when his Animal Kingdom costar Joel Edgerton was first mentioned as taking it. I was surprised to find out he's Aussie. If you ever saw him on Cinemax's Strike Back he does the stereotypical gung ho American so well I figured he was from Nebraska or something.

  • It can even be a simple number title like 300, but this time... 10,000. 10,000 in that bloody red font. That'd do don't you think?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST


    by Blue_Demon

    Nolan's "The Dark Knight" can fall under that label too. In an article in The Washington Independent a critic said that Batman was pretty much Dick Cheney. Under Bush/Cheney we captured and held suspected terrorists. In TDK, he kidnapped the guy from Hong Kong. And then there's the phone tapping. "That's too much power for one man to have." Funniest thing about the movie was that Lucius Fox thought phone tapping was dangerous but building missiles for this dude who dressed as a bat was okay. I forgot who it was who wrote that Hollywood seems to think that conservative stories resonate with America best. It gave the tongue-in-cheek example of "Conservative: Boy meets girl...Boy loses girl...Boy fixes his problem and gets girl." vs. "Liberal: Boy meets girl...Boy loses girl...Boy pressures government to pass legislation to make girl love him." I think I'll wait for Red Box for this movie.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    I don't think Miller's politics are that clear cut

    by Monolith_Jones

    At least not in those early Batman books. He didn't add anything to Batman's character just amplified them a bit. Whatever problem the left had with Miller's Batman are things that have always been there.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Sullivan Stapleton is great on Strike Back

    by torontoxic

    Great show too.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but a sidequel. Bring on the 10,000 march!!!

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:49 p.m. CST

    @supermarch, Strike back is awesome!

    by Norman Colson

    but i dont think he should play xerces... he's too white. the first guy was awesome!!! voice and all. besides isnt the persian king supposed to be dark skinned or something. it's persia for crying out loud!!!!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:49 p.m. CST

    I can't stand when people see politics in everything...

    by jimmy_009

    ...yes, some things are probably political allegory. Most things aren't. People project themselves way too much onto the media they watch (or sometimes don't watch). Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST


    by P862010

    he is'nt playing xerxes AICN needs to fix this article Variety and Deadline say he is playing Themosticles the role edgerton passed on

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:07 p.m. CST

    @p862010 ok.

    by Norman Colson

    Good to know... I really want them to bring back the first guy yeah it was awkward when he was talking to leonidas, but it wouldnt make sense to change the actor now, now that people recognize what xerces looked like... continuity i guess...

  • I'll watch her in ANYTHING, even that terrible first (and only) season of camelot she was the only good thing in.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 5:16 p.m. CST


    by judgemuffin

    Yawn...sepia sucks ass!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Nobody will watch this

    by GimpInMyPants

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Themistokles wins. end. of.

    by DrX

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:26 p.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    The ending in 300 pretty much implies that the Greeks win. Why would an audience watch this if they already blatantly know what happens as a result of the first movie?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:29 p.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    Loosely based on a historical event. Its a shame that the other Greeks (along with their slaves who were obviously forced to fight) at that battle were shafted in the movie.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:04 p.m. CST

    I actually liked the 300

    by Clio

    But the book, GATES OF FIRE, was excellent, as was his book on Alexander in Afghanistan.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by brobdingnag

    In the case of Hollywood however there is no doubt there is a collectivist agenda pushed. Just as its clear that Fox News pushes a republican agenda. You are fooling yourself if you think that there isn't something in 90% of the films you watch intended to influence your thinking about politics or social issues.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 12:30 a.m. CST

    Santoro was the best thing in 300

    by Ray Gamma

    They have to get him to reprise the role, it was the most striking performance of the whole movie.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 12:34 a.m. CST

    PS yeah fat basement-dwelling movie critics LOL

    by Ray Gamma

    Isn't that the AICN demographic? Isn't Harry the iconic posterboy for type 2 diabetic basement dwelling movie haters who will never be in a position to make a movie themselves?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:47 a.m. CST


    by A.J. Albright

    is more badass than Leonidas. FACT.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:57 a.m. CST


    by A.J. Albright

    This battle was fucking unimportant. 3 days of mostly stalemate... who fucking comes up with these ideas? Make it about Salamis or GTFO.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:24 a.m. CST

    @j-dizzle i know.

    by KilliK

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 6:04 a.m. CST

    So this time it's 300 but on the seas?

    by AsimovLives

    But it seems that Themistocles was a middle aged man by the time the battle of Artemisium occured. Themistocles was a veretan of the first persian invasion, and the events depicted in 300 report to the second persian invasion, which happened ten years before. Themistocles was born in 524BC, and the battle of Artemisium happened in 480BC. Themistocles was 44 then, which was a bit of an advanced age at the time. The real story of Themistoclesis actualy quite fascinating even beyond his involvement in the batles of Marathon, Artemisium and Salamis. He had a very rich life full of political intrigue and war events. His life could make for a badass TV show like ROME.

  • Seriously, 300 is so gay it's practically Top Gun. It's so gay it's practically gay pron. Gay pron for closet queens!

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 6:05 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Michael Mann got this close to make GATES OF FIRE, didn't he? And given his tendency to go for realistic scenarios and great attention to detail, he could had probably made a one hell of a great Battle Of Marathon movie, but done realistic not cartoony like 300. A great missed oportunity indeed.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 6:15 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives


  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Keep Santoro!

    by Rob Jenson

    He was iconic and there's no reason to change (unless they're trying to be realistic, but if it takes place in the same 'verse as 300 then it won't be, which is fine).

  • It's a shame which one actually made it out the gates. We could've had the next Gladiator, when all we got was the next Matrix (not quality-wise, of course, but that it's impact on other films was primarily in the visual department.)

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Yes indeed. i think we got the short end of the stick, don't you agree?