WonderCon: "300" Panel Discussion

The selection seemed to capture the excitement of the film. Leonidas and his compatriots, surrounded by Persian hordes, are forced to hack, slash and stab their way forward, until their opponents back over a cliff and into the sea. Throat-cuttings and spear impalements happen in "Matrix"-style "bullet time," and Leonidas snarls lines like "No prisoners!" and "Give them nothing, but take from them everything!" The clip was met with cheers, shouts and a thunderous round of applause.

The long line of questioners included fans who had seen "300" at preview screenings in Los Angeles or at WonderCon. Many launched into passionate compliments directed toward Butler and Headey, some on their performances, some on their looks. The queries ranged from the straight-forward to the outright bizarre. The actors good-naturedly answered in voices that advertised their Scottish and British upbringings.

Asked what his dream role might be, Butler declined to pick anything specific but said, "I love zaniness. I love weirdness and darkness and comedy. I would love to do a comedy. I'm funny!"

Asked whether the stylized spatters of blood that appear throughout the battle sequences are now one of Snyder's "trademarks," the director said, "When you see blood sprays, there'll be a little tm next to it. No, I just think it looked cool."

One fan suggested that "300" might be the movie that brings international fame to Butler and asked what he thought might be the worst aspect of instant recognition. Now shorn of the massive facial hair he sports in the film, Butler said, "That people will think that I look in normal life as if I'm giving a squirrel a blowjob." (See, he is a funny guy.)

Turning momentarily serious, Butler said, "I'm so glad that I've teamed up at a perfect point in my life with somebody else at a perfect point in his career. Everything about this film feels right."

One audience member praised Headey's performance as the warrior-queen Gorgo and wanted to know what it was like to work on a set with "so much raw testosterone."

"It was quite distracting at times," Headey deadpanned. "But after a while it got boring."

Snyder talked about the difficulties of adapting a famous graphic novel. "You have the script, and you have the graphic novel and then you have to squish them together. If you look at Frank's panels, they tend to be these tableaus. He's not concerned with the linear progression of time that you experience when you see a movie." Snyder said that his solution was to find the iconic Frank Miller frames and weave the action through and between them.

Snyder was also asked about the possibility that he will direct a screen adaptation of "Watchmen." "I want to make it into a movie. The studio wants me to make it into a movie. We're talking about shooting it at the end of the summer. That's as good as I can give you. The studio might say, "It's an R-rated superhero movie. What the hell is that? There's no such thing.'"

The final audience member at the microphone asked about some supposed Christian imagery in "300," when Leonidas strikes a cruciform pose. Snyder declined to make a definitive interpretation, saying, "The Jesus pose is in the graphic novel like that. I'm just going with Frank. You gotta go with Frank!"

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