300 Follow-Up Not Called XERXES, Snyder Not Directing?

Xerxes in 300

In case you don't already know, a prequel / sequel / spin-off to the movie 300 has been in its planning stages for some time now, based around the original's main antagonist, the Persian "God-king" Xerxes. For obvious reasons, the movie was going to be called Xerxes, was to be based on a new graphic novel currently being penned by Frank Miller, with 300 director Zack Snyder attached to direct. Adapting the graphic novel began last year when Snyder was sharing writing duties once again with Kurt Johnstad and we believe a script has been turned in. But it seems like things are changing in how it will be executed. Via MTV, producer Mark Canton (Immortals) recently stated that the project is still moving forward but will "It's not called 'Xerxes' anymore," he said. "We don't know yet." He then continued to drop another statement that suggests Zack Snyder may not return to direct the project, but will still be involved with the production to a certain degree...
"Rather than doing the bad sequel, Zack led the way, we took our time. And now I think we have something that is going to be fantastic. Soon we'll know what we're doing. But I don't see us waiting two years to make the movie and Zack is very much at the helm of it at the same time."
This new development can be credited to the fact that Snyder is busy rebooting the Superman franchise, disabling him from getting involved as a director in other projects. Set ten years before 300 just after the Battle of Marathon, Frank Miller€™s comic follows Themistocles, a warlord of Greece who built their navy and is on the search to become a God. The movie €œwill be the same heft as €˜300€™ but it covers a much, much greater span of time€”it€™s 10 years, not three days. This is a more complex story € so much larger.€ Basically, expect more 300 but bloodier, more ambitious and more violent. I may be in the minority here, but I had no issues whatsoever with Zack Snyder helming Xerxes, or any other delusional self-proclaimed divine dictator for that matter, with emphasis on the words "Zack Snyder". Say what you must about Sucker Punch, I loved it for what it was, and I think Snyder's signature sense of visuals and ability to film incredibly intense action sequences is what this movie needs to work. Take those essential elements out of the equation and you'll have yourself a historically-incorrect story of a bisexual conqueror that most moviegoers couldn't care less about. WB have a huge task on their hands to find a director with as much visual flare. Tarsem Singh comes to mind, and I'm sure he does to Canton too who has produced his forthcoming Immortals but he's busy himself with this Snow White movie.
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