<i>300</i> Gets August 2013 Release

Warner Bros. has staked out Aug. 2, 2013, for the release of the untitled follow-up to the 2007 blockbuster 300. That date pits the Legendary Pictures film against Sony Pictures Animation's The Smurfs 2 and Summit Entertainment's RED 2.

Directed by Noam Murro from a script by 300 collaborators Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, the follow-up initially was touted as a prequel based on Frank Miller's forthcoming Dark Horse miniseries Xerxes, which takes place 10 years before Thermopylae, beginning with the legendary Battle of Marathon. However, there are now indications that the film is neither a prequel nor a sequel, and could instead chronicle the Battle of Artemisium -- indeed, the project was at one subtitled Battle of Artemisia -- a series of naval engagements that took place simultaneously with the more famous Battle of Thermopylae depicted in 300.

Rodrigo Santoro is set to reprise his role as the Persian god-king Xerxes, joined by Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green and Jamie Blackley.

The studio also carved out May 10, 2013, for Pacific Rim, director Guillermo del Toro's much-anticipated giant-monster movie. It stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Max Martini, Willem Dafoe, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins Jr., Diego Klattenhoff and Ron Perlman.

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