Eight years after Zack Snyder’s 300 hit theaters and rapidly became a joke through a relentless parade of Internet memes, we’re finally getting the sequel-prequel-recap that nobody wanted. Fortunately, the first trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire makes Noam Murro’s contribution to the story of Sparta’s war with Xerxes look pretty good; if the film didn’t really need to be made in the first place, at the very least it may have the muscles needed to justify its own existence. I can’t honestly go back and watch 300 without laughing anymore, but maybe this will be just new enough for me to take it seriously:
The film reportedly unfolds before, during, and after the events that occurred in 300; if the clip tells us anything, it’s that 300: Rise of an Empire is centrally concerned with the Battle of Artemisium, a naval conflict that occurred in tandem with the Battle of Thermopylae. There’s backstory here for Xerxes, too, though I’m not really sure how much we need to learn how he became the God King. He kind of just is the God King. Maybe that’s not satisfying from a historical standpoint, but I’m not sure that historical accuracy is really a concern for a film universe featuring executioners with giant blades for hands.
Regardless, there’s some compelling stuff going on here, and if nothing else it’s always good to see Lena Headey and David Wenham, here reprising their respective roles as Queen Gorgo and Dilios, get work (though it’s not totally clear how large a part they play in events here). Weirdly, Sullivan Stapleton’s character, Themistocles, almost feels like a non-entity here despite how much presence he has in the footage; Eva Green’s villain, Artemisia, has more of an impact. (Which might be because she’s Eva Green.) Could be that he’ll resonate more in the actual film.
But we’ll have to wait and see. And by “wait” I mean really wait- 300: Rise of an Empire doesn’t come out until March 7th, 2014. Do you guys think it’ll be worth anticipating?