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film news

Guy Ritchie getting 300 prequel Xerxes?

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guy Ritchie has been offered the director's chair for Xerxes, the sequel to 300.

Ritchie is currently working on his Sherlock Holmes sequel and getting it ready for a December 2011 release date. Zack Snyder, the director of 300, isn't available to shoot Xerxes because he's currently planning out how to film the next Superman movie, now in pre-production and prepping for a summer start of filming.

Reading between the lines, what it means from a business standpoint is three things: a) Warner Bros. has confidence in Ritchie pulling off the kind of action sequences we saw in 300; b) the studio feels that the Xerxes script is ready to roll; c) that they don't want to wait on Snyder becoming available, which would likely mean delaying the start of Xerxes for two years (and probably closer to three.)

It's been four years since Snyder's 300 opened and made $200 million domestically for Warner Bros. Frank Miller, the creator of the graphic novel 300, was spurred by the mainstream success of the movie and wrote the Xerxes prequel with a movie in mind. As recently as June 2010, Snyder said that he was waiting on Miller to finish his book and that he wanted to direct the Xerxes movie.

Although it's not known how closely the Xerxes movie will follow Miller's comic, we do know what the book is about. Set 10 years before the events depicted in 300, Xerxes chronicles the rise of the Xerxes as he conquers the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. The main character is Themistocles, the warlord of Greece and who builds his nation's navy to stand against Xerxes' might.

The New York-based insider mag that broke the Ritchie story, Vulture, also claims through an insider that there are third act troubles with Snyder's Superman movie. 

-Vulture.

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