'300: Rise of an Empire' Trailer Hits the High Seas

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:04 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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'300: Rise of an Empire' Trailer Hits the High Seas

You've got to hand it to the first theatrical trailer for next year's 300: Rise of an Empire

Not many sequel trailers open with the corpses of the first movie's heroes littered all over.

Of course, that the 300 Spartan soldiers would end up dead defending the Hot Gates from Persian invaders in 300 was part of the deal going in, so the dead heroes thing is less surprising than if this were a different sequel.  Zack Snyder's 2007 hit is an unlikely candidate for sequelization, but 300: Rise of an Empire is coming to theaters on March 7, 2014.

Ostensibly based on the Frank Miller comic Xerxes, the sequel actually takes place largely concurrent with the first movie.  The story branches out, as Athenian general and politician Themostikles attempts to unite the Greek city states for a decisive naval engagement against a seemingly unstoppable Persian fleet.  That fleet is commanded by Artemisia, who saw her family killed by Greeks as a young girl and is now intent on revenge by way of conquest.

Snyder, busy making Man of Steel, ceded directorial duties to Noam Murro, the commercial and Smart People director who was, for a time, set to direct A Good Day to Die Hard.

Based on this trailer, though, you might think Snyder did direct.  He does, after all, have the only really prominent billing to speak of.  More than that, 300: Rise of Empire looks very much like its predecessor, only with a much bigger scope and a whole lot more water.

When Murro said back in April that the new film "is tied visually to the original," he may have been selling the connection a bit short.  This looks far more like a Snyder movie than Man of Steel, complete with copious slow motion, no small amount of speed ramping, and a metric ton of stylized action.

According to the director, though, 300: Rise of Artmesia is a very different beast than 300, which in many ways was a nonsense ethnography of Sparta and its martial values.  "These people don't want to fight, they even say that they are not Spartans. They are common people who have to do this to not be in under the rule of a dictator," Murro said. "This is not a duplicate movie or a cookie-cutter. It's a very different story to tell in keeping with the original flavor of 300."

Reprising their roles from the first film are Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro, and David WenhamSullivan Stapleton is the new heroic lead as Themostikles, while Eva Green brings Artemisia to life.

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