Given the ending of 300, we thought a sequel was unlikely. A prequel maybe, but the end of 300 was, let’s say, definitive. 300: Rise of an Empire found a way to continue the story. Now general Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) is leading the Greeks against another attack by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro).
Director Noam Murro and the cast of Rise of an Empire were at Comic-Con showing footage of the 2014 release. After a press conference, I approached Murro for an exclusive quote. Since it was so hard to find an entry for a 300 sequel, did they leave Rise of an Empire more open for a third film?
“I think it is,” Murro said. “There will be I think a third one.”
Granted, this is a brief quote as Murro was walking out the door, so it requires a little bit of extrapolation. Obviously when a movie does as well as 300, over $200 million domestically, the studio wants a sequel, whether creatively feasible or not. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. 300 director Zack Snyder and co-writer Kurt Johnstad took Frank Miller’s graphic novel Xerxes and found a way to continue the 300 story. Certainly they’d want to avoid painting themselves into another corner. Besides, they wouldn’t want to repeat the ending of 300, as that would be boring, and perhaps not historically accurate. There were victories as well as defeats.
So it’s likely that the heroes of Rise of an Empire stick around to have more potential adventures. If the sequel does even half the business of the original, Warner Brother will want to press ahead. The director himself says he thinks the ending is open for a sequel and he expects there to be one, so Franchise Fred is going with this one.
300: Rise of an Empire opens March 14, 2014.