Noam Murro

Eva Green in 300 RISE OF AN EMPIRE

Some films are content being a prequel, and others are happy being a sequel. But 300: Rise of an Empire is having none of that. Instead, the film begins in the first act of Zack Snyder‘s original 300 and carries on past that film’s mass Spartan demise. So yes, it’s essentially The Bourne Legacy of films about Greek warfare. Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) is a Greek general aware of Xerxes’ (Rodrigo Santoro) imminent invasion and struggling to rally the various Greek states together to present a uniform front. Sparta ignores his pleas and instead sends 300 of their bravest off to battle (and we all know how that turned out), so Themistokles is forced to make do and form the best navy he can muster. His enemy equal on the sea, Artemisia (Eva Green), leads the Persian naval forces that once again outnumber their Greek foes by a wide margin. The two master commanders go head to head (and groin to groin) to determine the fate of all of Greece. Snyder co-wrote the script for this follow-up, again from a Frank Miller graphic novel, but he passed directing duties to Noam Murro (Smart People). While some may see that as a step down the resulting film is actually on par in most ways with its equally stylized predecessor. Whether that’s a good or bad thing will vary among viewers, but one thing is certain. If for no other reason, 300: Rise of an Empire is worth seeing for Miss Green in […]

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300: Rise of an Empire

Don’t call it a comeback, Sparta has been here for years. Abs flexing, motion slowing, blood splattering. This trailer is everything we were promised from 300: Rise of an Empire, at least based on the pedigree established by Zack Snyder’s first film. This time around it’s directed by Noam Murro, whose only directorial credit was the intelligent Sundance-debuting comedy Smart People. I enjoyed that film a great deal in 2008. This, however, is a CGI-designed horse of a different color. The good news? It looks exactly like 300…

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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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Noam Murro is going to direct Die Hard 5. Let that roll around in your head for a while. If you’re like me, you don’t even recognize the name. It’s okay. I had to look it up. Murro directed the fairly average, not quite as annoying as it could have been indie dramedy Smart People a few years back. Now, he’s going to be directing Die Hard 5. According to Deadline Gary, the newcomer/commercial veteran impressed Fox with his ad campaign for Halo: Reach. Check it out for yourself and see if you’re equally impressed:

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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