<i>300</i> Prequel Won't Be Called <i>Xerxes</i>, It Turns Out

The long-discussed prequel to the 2007 box-office hit 300, set 10 years before the legendary Battle of Thermopylae, won't be called Xerxes after all.

So what will it be called? "We don't know yet," Producer Mark Canton tells MTV News. "But I can say that it's been worth the wait. You know, that group of people [who worked on '300'], we’re really a family. That’s part of what made that movie ... so gratifying. Rather than doing the bad sequel we ... took our time. And now I think we have something that is going to be fantastic.”

Also uncertain is whether Zack Snyder will return to direct. Warner Bros. was quick to swat down a rumor in February that Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie had been offered the prequel, either because the Superman script required Snyder's full attention or because the studio had suddenly developed reservations about his abilities (pick one).

Now, however, it looks like the movie formerly known as Xerxes could very well move on without Snyder behind the camera, due to the director's schedule.

"I mean, he's got Superman. He's busy. We're busy," Canton tells Coming Soon. "I don't think we're going to wait two years. But we'll work together with him and figure out who the filmmaker should be if he doesn't direct it."

Canton says that Snyder is working with 300 collaborator Kurt Johnstad on the screenplay, based on Frank Miller's upcoming Dark Horse miniseries.

As Miller revealed last June, the prequel will have a far broader scope than 300: "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.”

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