The 2006 adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae was an unexpected smash hit that influence the way action films were made over the next few years. Director Zack Snyder’s brand of stylised suuuuuuper slow-mo carnage became the flavour du jour for quite a while, popping up in more films and TV shows than ever before. The acclaimed Spartacus TV show is pretty much a 4 season tribute to Snyder’s film.
The latest trailer for the much-delayed sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, shows a story with a much wider scope than the original film. Instead of focusing on one group of soldiers, the story spans the time before and after the events of 300 — from Xerxes’ transformation from mortal to God-King to the formation of a Greek alliance to fight back against his Persian forces.
Lena Heady reprises her brief role from the first film, as does Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro. They join newcomers the likes of Eva Green, Jack O’Connell and Sullivan Stapleton as the Athenian general Themistocles.
We’re not expecting a rigorous history lesson with this sequel, but we’re holding tight plotting, buff torsos and some great action scenes. If they manage to hit all three of those things, we’re likely to be looking at another hit here.
300: Rise of an Empire will be in cinemas (dripping in oil) from 7 March 2014