Greek armies unite vs. Persian invaders


A scene from the film 300: Rise of an Empire

MANILA, Philippines – Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present 300: Rise of an Empire, a bold new chapter in the 300 saga, hitting Philippine theaters nearly a decade after its 2006 predecessor, the Greek epic 300, took the world by storm.

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster 300, this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield — on the sea — as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.

The new film pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy. The action adventure stars Sullivan Stapleton (Gangster Squad) as Themistokles and Eva Green (Casino Royale) as Artemisia. Lena Headey reprises her starring role from 300 as the Spartan Queen, Gorgo; Hans Matheson (Clash of the Titans) stars as Aeskylos; David Wenham returns as Dilios; and Rodrigo Santoro stars anew as the Persian King, Xerxes.

With its unrestrained bravado and unique visual style, the original 300 forged a whole new language of filmmaking that redefined the action epic form. The trendsetting film, from then-emerging director Zack Snyder, took a historical event as interpreted by the distinct, surreal imagination of comic book author Frank Miller and gave it kinetic new life. And though the finale of 300 was nothing if not final, the saga continues in 300: Rise of an Empire, with a fresh story that explores the wider conflict unfolding across Greece that parallels King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans’ legendary stand at Thermopylae.

This time around, Snyder is producing the film, along with his fellow 300 producers Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, Deborah Snyder and Bernie Goldmann, and co-wrote the script with his 300 collaborator Kurt Johnstad based on Miller’s graphic novel Xerxes. “It’s more of a companion film than a sequel or prequel,” explains Zack Snyder. “This is a sea battle that took place in the same three days as Thermopylae. And with an equally significant outcome.”

On par with the visuals was maintaining the quality of the storytelling in the second chapter, even at the earliest stages of development. Producer Mark Canton notes, “We had the benefit of the amazing work that Zack, Kurt and Frank Miller did to figure out the complex detail of how we could continue 300 in an exciting and authentic way. Frank Miller was there laying it all out, then he’d pass his ideas over to Zack and Kurt, who developed a story that’s philosophical, sexy, romantic and epic in every sense of the word.”

Opening across the Philippines today, 300: Rise of an Empire is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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