Despite the fact that the 300 sequel 300: Battle of Artemisia will be something of a prequel that tells the story of how Xerxes rose to power as a God King, it seems like we’re going to get a chance to catch a glimpse of old favorites King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo in the movie anyway.
While talking to Movies.com, 300 producer Bernie Goldmann told them that this time around, “it’s a different story, however there’s a small part for Lena [Headey]. There’s a small part for Gerry [Butler].” There’s a bit of a risk you take in these sorts of situations of doing small cameos for famous characters, as sometimes it can look pandering and take the viewer out of the movie (think of all the times when characters from the original trilogy awkwardly got their name announced as they turned to the camera in the Star Wars prequels), so hopefully 300: Battle of Artemisia is able to bring back Lena Headey and Gerard Butler in an organic way.
Yet, even if the cameos play badly, they still shouldn’t do too much to sink the film, because even though the actors from the first 300 became bigger stars due to the film’s success, Goldmann and crew remain committed to casting unknowns for the lead roles in the sequel. He explained the approach, “when you make a period movie like that, it’s great not to know the actors. For me, as an audience, it always brings me into the movie more. You can’t see Tom Cruise in a historical movie. You go, ‘That’s Tom Cruise!’”
So I guess anybody out there hoping that Tom Cruise might play the new version of Xerxes just got their hopes dashed. But for the rest of us, we can cheer, because it sounds like this shouldn’t get turned into a Hollywood abomination. 300: Battle of Artemisia is now set to go ahead with director Noam Murro firmly attached, so we should probably start getting word about who these new unknowns will be soon.