The first official images from 300: Rise of an Empire, along with more details on the plot from director Noam Murro and star Sullivan Stapleton, have become available courtesy of USA Today.
Gangster Squad’s Stapleton was set to star as Greek general Themistokles in a story that parallels the original 300, Zack Snyder‘s adaptation of Frank Miller‘s graphic novel which turned into a surprise hit in 2006.
Stapleton’s character looks like he belongs in 300, seemingly doing his best impersonation of Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas.
The second image is a cool shot of the warriors in the film, but it doesn’t seem to be any serious warfare going on. On the other hand, it does give us a look at the visual design of the film and it shows strong visual continuity with Snyder’s adaptation.
While Rise of the Empire will be ‘tied visually to the original (film),’ director Murro (Smart People) ensures there will be ‘a whole different choreography of fighting and war,’ because much of the action will take place on small boats.
happens over time in many different locations. The opportunities for the six distinct battles are even greater with different locations and tactics.’
The plot will center on a battle against the main antagonist of Rise of an Empire, Artemesia (Eva Green),
the vengeful commander of the Persian navy, who is second in command to the mortal-turned-god leader Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and has the added incentive of seeking to settle a blood score against the Greeks who killed her family when she was a child.
Stapleton and Murro talked about her character:
‘She does most of Xerxes’ dirty work in this film. She’s seeking revenge, and she does it well,’ says Stapleton. ‘She’s a force to be reckoned with.’
Murro adds ‘She’s got sex appeal, she’s ruthless and conniving. All the things that kill men. And she has a sword. I wouldn’t mess with her.’
Penned by Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, 300: Rise Of An Empire also stars Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Igal Naor, Callan Mulvey, Jack O’Connell and Andrew Tiernan.
Check out the images below.
This semi-sequel opens in theaters on August 2nd, 2013.