Producers of the long-discussed prequel to 300 have, as expected, renamed the film formerly known as Xerxes. What’s more, they’ve reportedly narrowed the list of directors to just two names.
With Zack Snyder busy with the all-important reboot of Warner Bros.’ Superman franchise, Deadline reports that his successor on the now-titled 300: Battle of Artemisia likely will be either Noam Murro or Jaume Collet-Serra.
Based on the upcoming Dark Horse miniseries by 300 creator Frank Miller, the prequel is “a sweeping tale with gods and warriors” that takes place 10 years before Thermopylae, beginning with the legendary Battle of Marathon, which marked the end of Persia’s first invasion of Greece. Although, as the original titled suggested, the comic charts the rise of Xerxes I of Persia, Miller has said the lead character is Themistocles, the Athenian politician and general.
“The story is very different than 300 in that it involves Xerxes’ search for godhood,” the artist said last year. “The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he [is] well on his way to godhood by the end of the story.”
Snyder and 300 collaborator Kurt Johnstad wrote the screenplay for Battle of Artemisia, which will employ the same green-screen visual effects that helped to propel the 2007 film to a $456-million global box office.
According to Deadline, Snyder and his wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder “have been all over this director selection process,” helping to narrow the choices to Murro, an acclaimed television commercial director set to develop the next Die Hard installment, and Collet-Serra, who helmed the horror film Orphan, the Liam Neeson thriller Unknown and the upcoming ABC pilot The River.