Warner Brothers’ “300: Rise of an Empire” is set to hit movie theaters worldwide on March 7, 2014. The movie is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel “Xerxes.” It is directed by Noam Murro, which stars Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes), Sullivan Stapleton (Themistocles), Eva Green (Artemisia), Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo), Hans Matheson (Aesyklos) and David Wenham (Dilios). In addition, Zack Snyder, the director of the 2006 film “300,” and Kurt Johnstad developed its story.
As can be remembered, Leonidas, played by Gerard Butler, and his men were defeated at the Battle of Thermopylae. The self-proclaimed god-king Xerxes advanced through Thermopylae, while the vengeful warlord of the Persian navy, Artemisia, attempted to invade Greece for the second time. Themistocles, the Greek general, led his army against the Persian charge. This time, the battle is held on the sea.
Even if the movie is about the Battle of Artemisium, it can also be identified as a prequel to “300” and build the character of Xerxes before he becomes a god-king. The flashbacks include Xerxes born as a mortal man with hair, until Artemisia convinced him to take a bath. Then, he turned bald and golden.
Although there were only a few original cast members of “300” (Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro and David Wenham) left in the new movie, Warner Bros. opted to put “300” on the title to maintain its connection to its predecessor.
In an interview with MTV, the cast including Santoro and Stapleton shared how much they have prepared for the movie including the trainings that they did to stay fit.
Santoro, who is happy that he was able to play the part again, shared his regimen to MTV.
“The whole diet, working out, and going back to that shape wasn’t very exciting, but in a way I really enjoy playing this character,” said Santoro in the MTV report.
Stapleton also talked about six packs and muscles.
“I learned that I’ve got a six pack under there. We all have, if you train really hard and don’t eat much. I thought it was [that] some men were genetically blessed with those kinds of bodies, and I thought I was maybe the other kind. It’s not true.” said Stapleton in the MTV report.
The actor called his action-ready bod a badge of honor, saying that every bicep you see on the big screen is all him. “It happened. It’s there. You can see it, it happened,” added Stapleton.