300: The Battle of Artemisia

After successfully bulking up enough to trade blows and dialogue with Tom Hardy in the recent fight film Warrior, Australian actor Joel Edgerton has proven that he can pretty much do anything. And after starring in another recent, high profile Hollywood film, the remake of The Thing, he has shown that he’s an actor whose star power is on the rise. So it makes sense to me that Warner Bros. and director Noam Murro would be looking at him to fill Gerard Butler’s shoes as the star of a 300 movie. According to Vulture, Edgerton is in talks to join Murro’s 300 sequel/prequel Battle of Artemisia as the lead badass Themistocles. Themistocles was an Athenian general and politician who is mostly remembered for leading the Athenian Navy in a successful campaign to beat back a Persian invasion. After his military exploits, he stuck around Athens as a bigwig politician, but eventually rubbed a lot of people the wrong way because of his arrogance. Also, he rubbed the Spartans the wrong way because of his insistence that Athens be refortified. Once he was eventually ostracized from Athens, he had nowhere else to go in Greece – he had pissed pretty much everyone off. What choice did that leave him? It meant that, in a stunning bit of irony, he had to flee to Persia and work in service of their king.

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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.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about entertainment news and points of view that, for the time being, is keeping it brief. It’s author has not yet seen the season four premiere of Breaking Bad and he’s worried that continued exposure to the internet will lead to spoilers. He’s a big, bearded pansy like that. We begin tonight with a first look at Karl Urban as Judge Dredd in the simply titled Dredd, the redoing of the character created by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Pat Mills in the late 1970s. It comes courtesy of Bleeding Cool and for all intents and purposes, looks pretty slick. Though Urban is a considerably smaller man in that helmet than Sly Stallone, his actual acting ability could prove to his advantage. But we’ll see.

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We’ve known for a while that since Zack Snyder is directing Man of Steel, somebody else will have to come on board to direct the sequel to 300 and that it probably won’t end up being called Xerxes, like Frank Miller’s graphic novel sequel was. Things seem to be progressing on both those fronts. We now have word of what that new title is going to be and that the suits have narrowed the candidates to direct down to two choices.

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