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300 prequel begins with Snyder

Xerxes.jpgZack Snyder has been talking about Xerxes, the prequel to 300 and has revealed that he's been involved in writing the screenplay for a week or so now, not only that but he tells us about the plot and what the film will look like, if he directs it.

That's an important thing to note right now because while he's only involved in writing the screenplay just now, he's not signed as director. However it's surely a matter of time isn't it?

300 (Filmstalker review) was a pretty exciting film with some unique visuals that have become part of Zack Snyder's trademark, something we saw in Watchmen (Filmstalker review) and we're already seeing in the trailers for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, which is looking like his third excellent film in a row.

However Zack Snyder has a lot on his plate, whether they are rumoured or not, there are five other films along with Xerxes, so it would be a race to the post and a matter of scheduling as to whether he took on the project, but could you really see him leaving the prequel of 300 up to anyone else?

Speaking to the L.A. Times through JoBlo he reveals what he's up to right now.

"We closed the writing deal on Xerxes. We started writing about a week ago...So we're doing it. It's happening."

The "we" in that refers to Snyder and Kurt Johnstad who are hard at work on the script right now. Johnstad co-wrote the 300 script along with Snyder and Michael Gordon.

However, as I said, there's no deal in place for him, or anyone else, to direct as yet.

"I don't have a directing deal in place but we are writing it, so call it intent...If there was a crime they could probably convict me."

So when will we hear? Well it does depend on when the script gets completed, if everyone's happy with it, when the studio want to go, and so on. There are a lot of decision points before this moves forward.

The most important thing though is that Snyder shares with us the story of Xerxes.

"This movie follows Themistocles and the Battle of Artemisium, which coincidentally happens on the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae [the battle shown in the 300 film - Richard]...

...This one starts off with a quick retelling of the why of the Persian wars. It starts off at the Battle of Marathon and then it goes back to Themistocles finding out that Persians are invading again. and off we go over to learn a little bit about why Xerxes is the way he is...

...Darius [the Persian king and father of Xerxes] gets wounded at Marathon and he's super cool and like a great guy. Even the Greeks are like, 'Darius is awesome.' After Darius dies, Xerxes is so distraught, but Darius had told him, 'Don't attack the Greeks, only a god can punish the Greeks.' So that's when he calls his mystics and wizards and says, 'Make me a god so I can avenge my father.'

So that's your run down of the opening of the story of the film and why Xerxes became the figure we saw in 300. The really good news thought is that this won't be similar to 300, well it may be in styling as we'll hear later, but not in content.

"Themistocles is kind of the father of democracy. It's much more about these guys choosing. The Spartans are, 'We fight, we die,' so that's an easy choice for them, there's no surrender. The cool thing about Themistocles and his gang is that it's way more difficult. Things aren't as clear or unchallenged. He has to be more political to get everyone to agree. It's political, in the soap-opera sense of the word. There's a relationship with Leonidas ... and ... well, we'll see where it all goes."

Sounds interesting, and sounding as though there will be much more of the side of Queen Gorgo that we saw in the 300 film, with more interaction with characters with more depth and layers to the story, however it will still look like 300, and with that do we just see a small slip from Snyder about his own intentions for the film?

"Yes, it's the same universe visually,"

I'd say that's him definitely thinking about directing the film, so will he actually do it? I hope som don't you?



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