300: Rise of an Empire trailer actually looks good
I had expected that the sequel of the fabulous 300 (Filmstalker review) would end up becoming a poor imitation, throwing out the previous film in favour of something much less. Dropping the director, the stars, and perhaps even the story trying to eke something out of a story that really had it's finale already.
Now I've seen the trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire I'm not so sure any more. First of all we do have returning stars and some new ones too, two of the original screenwriters have returned, the previous director included, and the source material has been written by Frank Miller. Perhaps this isn't the cheap cashing in sequel I had expected.
300: Rise of an Empire is directed by Noam Murro, that is different from the original, he previously directed the 2008 film Smart People. Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad return to write the screenplay adapted from the Frank Miller graphic novel Xerxes. Rodrigo Santoro, Lena Headey and David Wenham return in their key roles with Eva Green joining the action too.
It looks a great line-up and when you watch the trailer you realise just how tied in with the original 300 (Filmstalker review) they are, this isn't a cheap sequel, well not from looking at the trailer anyway.
Variety, who have the trailer, tell us that the film isn't actually due out until March the 7th so this trailer is some nine months before the release date, but I suspect there is plenty of work for the effects and post production teams to do before that date and this is just a taste of the completed work.
I love the connections to the original with the opening and closing scenes, as much as it pains me to see the lead up to that moment. What I'm concerned about now is how well the story will hold up to the previous. Judging from what we see in the trailer this isn't looking as though it's going to be a straight copy and we know there's a lot more action in the sea, I wonder though if our hopes will be raised only to be slaughtered once again.
In 300: Rise of an Empire we will see the Greek General Themistokles, played by Sullivan Stapleton, try to unite Greece against the massive Persian army that the 300 had previously failed to halt but had, hopefully, inspired a nation to rise against them. We shall see.