We've been intermittently updating the status of XERXES, the long-gestating 300 follow-up, for awhile now. At last mention, we let you know director Noam Murro had been pegged to helm the film, now to be referred to as 300: BATTLE OF ARTEMISIA. Well gang, get ready to meet your new warrior chief...
Variety is reporting that Sullivan Stapleton (right) has been tapped to play Xerxes in BATTLE OF ARTEMISIA. If the name doesn't ring a bell, you might be surprised to learn Stapleton has been kicking around since the mid-90s. He's recently appeared in ANIMAL KINGDOM, and can soon be seen in THE HUNTER and GANGSTER SQUAD. Dude's definitely raising the profile.
As for his role here, Artemisia is based on Frank Millerís upcoming graphic novel that takes Xerxes, the Persian leader who is an antagonist in 300, and turns him into more of a pivotal figure. He's a man in search of godhood after the death of his father, battling an Athenian warlord named Themistocles. The story takes place over the course of several years, but the focal point is the battle of Artemisium, which occurred in 480 BC.
Kurt Johnstad and Zack Snyder are working on the screenplay.
300 star Lena Headey