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.

Deadline has the info. So on one hand we’ve got Noam Murro, the guy who is developing Die Hard 5, and directed Smart People and many commercials including ones for Halo. Then there is Jaume Collet-Serra, who directed the Liam Neeson thriller Unknown, the pilot for The River, and has a few other films in the works like the Le Cercle Rouge remake and Harker. How will either of them do with the heavy green-screen action that defined 300? Difficult to say, though I’d almost peg Noam Murro, with his award-winning commercial background, at having a better shot with the  tech side of things. But the narrative is a whole other deal, and in reality Jaume Collet-Serra also has a big commercial and music video background.

Recapping what we’ve known before:

The film will have the Battle of Marathon as a kickoff, but filtered through the same sort of sensibility that was seen in 300. Frank Miller previously explained the basics of the story:

The story will be the same heft as ‘300? but it cover a much, much greater span of time — it’s 10 years, not three days… This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in ‘300? were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it’s a sweeping tale with gods and warriors. The new tale climaxes with a massive naval confrontation that is so dense that it is fought like a land war and it ends on the same day as the events of 300.

…the story starts with the Battle of Marathon” … “The lead character is Themistocles, who became warlord of Greece and built their navy. The story is very different than ‘300? in that it involves Xerxes search for godhood. The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he well on his way to godhood by the end of the story. With Themistocles I have a character who is almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure. He was nicknamed ‘The Subtle Serpent’ and he always manages to do the exact right things that will result in him benefiting greatly.”

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