The Noam Murro-directed 300 prequel 300: Battle of Artemisia has a pulse again thanks to a former Bond girl.

Casino Royale, Kingdom of Heaven and Golden Compass star Eva Green is in talks to play the title character in the film, some of which takes place concurrently with events of the 2006 Zack Snyder blockbuster. It centers on the 300 bad guy Xerxes who is manipulated by Artemisia into waging a war against an inexperienced Greek army, lead by Themistokles. That role has yet to be cast, though actors like Joel Edgerton have already passed on it. There’s more after the break. Read More »

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The prequel to 300, once called Xerxes and now 300: Battle of Artemisia, has been slowly moving forward for the last couple years as Frank Miller created the graphic novel on which the movie will be based. With Miller’s work done, Zack Snyder, director of 300, and his 300 writer Kurt Johnstad, have finished a script for the new film.

The next step is casting, and while one producer has teased the cameo returns of Gerard Butler and Lena Headey, Battle of Artemisia needs a new leading man to play Themosticles, a Greek general who led the defense against Persia’s invasion in 480 BCE.

Now Joel Edgerton, recently seen in The Thing, Animal Kingdom and Warrior, is reportedly in talks to strip down and oil up for the part.

Update: Edgerton has also reportedly been offered the lead in Steven Soderbergh‘s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Read More »

Earlier this year, we reported that Noam Murro (Smart People, those Halo: Reach commercials) had been hired to direct Die Hard 5. More recently, however, Murro was chosen to helm 300: Battle of Artemisia (formerly titled Xerxes), and the demands of that project have forced him to drop Die Hard 5. But the project appears to still be on track– 20th Century Fox hasn’t wasted any time finding a replacement, and has already put an offer out to a new director. Meanwhile, the first details for the plot of the new film, scripted by Skip Woods (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), have been revealed. Hit the jump for more info on the director and the plot.

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Noam Murro Directing ’300: Battle Of Artemisia’

Here’s another confirmation to follow the Tom Cruise/One Shot news. The 300 sequel formerly called Xerxes is now 300: Battle of Artemisia, and one of the men previously tipped as possible director, Noam Murro, has been chosen to helm the film. And while Zack Snyder has moved on to Superman, this sequel will be shot in the same visually exaggerated style that looked unique when Snyder applied it to 300 and has since become an action/fantasy cliche. Read More »

The last time we heard about the 300 sequel Xerxes it wasn’t called Xerxes any longer. We didn’t have a new title then, but now we do. In order to avoid any confusion, the producers are falling back on the title of the first film and appending a subtitle. So now what was Xerxes will hit theaters as 300: Battle of Artemisia. Assuming, that is, that the film is ever shot.

The sequel needs a director at this point, but that field seems to have narrowed down to a few possible choices that include Noam Murro and Jaume Collet-Serra. Read More »

Commercial Director Spotlight: Noam Murro

On Friday afternoon, it was revealed that 20th Century Fox had hired five time DGA nominated commercials director Noam Murro to direct Die Hard 5. We’ve been following Murro’s commercial career for a while now, and it was only a matter of time before he landed a big Hollywood film — and this looks to be the one. Murro was originally slated to direct The Ring Two, but dropped out. He made his feature debut with Smart People, a fun yet underwhelming indie dramedy which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Murro was set to return to the director’s chair for the drama Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, which Julianne Morre is attached to star.

Fox was impressed with the commercials he most recently shot for Microsoft’s Halo, which we’ve posted previously on the site. I thought now was a better time than any to take a quick look at Murro’s commercial career.

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Noam Murro to Direct ‘Die Hard 5′

Update (from editor Peter Sciretta): Deadline has learned that five time DGA  nominated commercials director Noam Murro (Smart People) has been hired to direct Die Hard 5. Fox was impressed with the commercials he most recently shot for Microsoft’s Halo. Watch them here. We’ve been following Murro’s commercial career for a while now, and it was only a matter of time before he landed a big Hollywood film — and this looks to be the one. The studio has yet to officially sign Willis, but that shouldn’t be an issue. The original story, posted earlier this afternoon, follows.

Kevin Smith is one of the few outspoken, brutally honest voices in Hollywood, so when he confessed that Bruce Willis was a prima donna who wouldn’t take direction and was stuck in the mindset of the ’80s when the actors ran the show, it seemed likely that there was some truth to his claims. That could be why this news doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Apparently, it’s not the studio that’s currently looking at directors to take on Die Hard 5, but Bruce Willis himself. He previously made it clear that he plans to do two more Die Hard films before hanging up the series for good, and now it would appear he’s making an active effort to bring that plan to fruition. To quote Smith, “[He's] what you call a fucking movie star.”

More on this after the break, including the studio’s response to the script, and an update on Willis’ casting in Stephen FrearsLay the Favorite, Take the Dog. Read More »

Want to get another glimpse at what a big screen Halo movie could look like? Microsoft has released a new live-action trailer for the video game Halo: Reach, the second spot directed by 49-year old Israeli commercial director Noam Murro, who in 2008 made his feature film debut with the indie dramedy Smart People. The first trailer in the series was released in April, and was titled “Birth of a Spartan”, also directed by Murro. I have included that after the jump as well.

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