Warner Bros. Zeroes in on Noam Murro to Direct 300: Battle of Artemisia Adaptation
Warner Bros. (WB) has put the pedal to the metal on two long-in-development properties this week. First, the studio tapped Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) to take the reins of Akira, the live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's acclaimed manga series that Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company has been developing since 2008. Now, THR has reported that WB has "zeroed in on" Israel-born director Noam Murro to direct 300: Battle of Artemisia (formerly Xerxes), the sequel to 300 that has been waiting on the completion of creator Frank Miller's graphic novel source material since 2007.
Initially, 300 director Zack Snyder had planned on directing 300: Battle of Artemisia himself. Apparently, however, WB didn't want to wait for Snyder to finish his duties on Man of Steel and began looking for a replacement, narrowing the list down to Collet-Serra and Murro. Snyder, who co-wrote the script with Kurt Johnstad, is still involved as a producer (along with his wife, Deborah Snyder) and may have even been the one who selected Murro to succeed him. According to THR, an "official offer" is expected to go out to Murro next week.
While it is technically a sequel to 300, 300: Battle of Artemisia actually takes place before, during and after the events depicted in 300. "This movie follows Themistocles and the Battle of Artemisium, which coincidentally happens on the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae [in 300]," explained Snyder. As a result, it is possible for Gerard Butler to reprise the role of the Spartan king, Leonidas, even though the character died at the end of 300, a prospect that would surely entice fans to check out the new movie. It has not been revealed whether Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro will return as the Persian king, Xerxes, who is the central character in the new movie.