‘300: Rise of Empire’ trailer: Swords, sandals, the sea and Xerxes

June 12, 2013 | 10:38 p.m.

A new trailer for “300: Rise of an Empire” offers the same sort of swords-and-sandals splendor that made filmmaker Zack Snyder’s visually arresting 2006 adaptation of the landmark Frank Miller graphic novel such a hit.

“Rise of an Empire” is not a sequel or a prequel but its own free-standing thing, taking place before, during and after the events of “300.” Directed by TV commercial ace Noam Murro and produced by Snyder, the film sees Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro reprise his role as Xerxes, the nefarious 9-foot-tall antagonist.

“The movie looks cool. It’s beautiful,” Santoro told Hero Complex in an interview this year. “It’s like ‘300’ but there are fresh things in there. It’s a smart way to do a sequel. The fans are going to be pleased.”

More of the Persian “God King’s” back story will be revealed in the film, but a new villain — Eva Green’s Artemisia I of Caria — will take the spotlight, along with new protagonist Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton). “Game of Thrones” star Lena Headey is reprising her role as Queen Gorgo. It is her voice that offers the trailer’s beginning narration.

“It begins as whisper,” she says. “A promise. The lightest of breezes dances above the death cries of 300 men. That breeze became a wind. A wind, my brothers, of sacrifice. A wind of freedom. A wind of justice. A wind of vengeance.”

The story is based on Miller’s “Xerxes” and the historical Battle of Artemisium, a naval engagement concurrent with “300’s” battle at Thermopylae. As a result, much of the film’s action takes place at sea. Check it out in the trailer below.

Producer Snyder, of course, is the director of this weekend’s “Man of Steel,” the Superman reboot, which looks to be his first major hit since “300.” In between came “Watchmen,”  “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” and “Sucker Punch.”

“300” was a box-office hit, despite controversy surrounding the portrayal of Xerxes and his Persian army as an effete villain and a savage horde; the Iranian Academy of the Arts filed a formal complaint through the United Nations, denouncing the film’s take on Iran’s history.

“Empire” is slated to hit theaters March 7. Click through the gallery above for scenes from the first “300.”

– Noelene Clark and Chris Lee

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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Comments


18 Responses to ‘300: Rise of Empire’ trailer: Swords, sandals, the sea and Xerxes

  1. Hhhhh says:

    Persians are Aryan. They don't look like what these movies try to show them as. You will not see Persians like what they are in movie 300. Yes in other countries you do find people like that but not in Iran.

    • Nebuchadnezzar says:

      That's true but the vast majority of the Persian army was made up of elements from conquered areas that were mostly not Aryan. This was similar to the Roman army as well. Very few of the legions were "Italian". Most were Germanic or Spanish. Since when were movies EVER historically accurate lol?

    • @SephVe says:

      The funny thing is.. Persians were more 'white' than greeks. Way to go hollywood.

      • Tiredoflies says:

        Persians more "white" than Greeks?? Where did you get that idea from? Have you not read any Greek texts or seen their drawings or any of their statues? Your statement is patently false and misleading.

      • Paul Goodwin says:

        Actually that is spot on. Greeks and Persians are technically both "Caucasian", in a manner that they both descended from the Caucasus Mountains. The only difference being some nomadic tribes descended south whereas others went west.
        May be if you weren't so swept by your emotions to that statement you would actually see he isn't wrong.

      • Tiredoflies says:

        You, are partially right, mostly wrong, missed the salient points, are not thinking deeply enough, nor clearly enough and a have a good portion of rudeness.

  2. J Klein says:

    Do not watch this for historic accuracy. Watch it for fun and entertainment only. The History Channel had a nice piece on the Battle of Thermopylae. The sea battle took place during the Last Stand. The Battle of Thermopylae was probably the most important battle in history, for it led to the modern educated world. For all you history and military buffs, research this, it is amazing.

    • @SephVe says:

      Oh right, isn't that convenient. Look guys we're going to produce a racist movie for purposes of historical propaganda and we would just like to ask that you let just this one slide and even though we'll rub the supremacist agenda in your face throughout the whole movie, we ask that you do not make a big deal about. Because you know.. History channel. :facepalm

      • George says:

        Racist?

        Like it or hate it. But calling it racist is just inane. They even cast black actors as Persians in an awkward effort to be politically correct.

        The Persians and the Greeks were both Caucasians. The idea that Persians (modern day Iranians) are "people of color" is a modern day leftist ideological position completely divorced from anthropological reality. Iranians are Caucasians generally similar in appearance to Europeans.

      • SephVe says:

        Racism isn't about 'casting people of color' in a movie you ninny. Any decent person would be tired of the same repeating images of Middle Eastern culture with demonizing tropes and stereotypes in western media. Be that as it may, no other triple A budget movie has been more racist towards Middle Eastern people than 300. The constant use of glorification and dehumanization in this movie is just disgusting. The racism would at least have some merit if absolutely anything in this movie was factual. The Birth of a Nation and the Eternal Jew were more subtle propaganda pieces.

      • Paul Goodwin says:

        The Persians themselves were "Caucasians", but you do realize that at the height of it's power(Time period portrayed in the movie), Persia did consist of about 30 or so different races, cast, and religious beliefs. It was also the first nation to have banned slavery and it ruled parts of Egypt. It is most likely that the "people of color" that you speak of might just be those that come from that region of the world or were those who were set free once Persians conquered those regions. I think you reached a conclusion more on impulse and less on complete thought. It is very possible and highly probable that there were "people of color" at high posts in the Persian army.

    • Paul Goodwin says:

      "for it led to the modern educated world.", with no intent or inclination to insult, I must say that is a highly uneducated statement. Persians were an Extremely sophisticated race. They created the ancient worlds most powerful and well connected empire known to man, that too out of a desert. I would think that would take a great degree of advancement to conjure up an empire from a desert.
      Cyrus II(The Great) is even mentioned in the Bible(Old Testament) as the "Shiakh" the only gentile to be called the "Anointed one", for setting the Jews free and rebuilding their temple and furnishing it. He was also the first Emperor in the world to have ever prohibited slavery in his empire. Every thing that has any relation of luxurious living is attributed to the Persians. Persian wine, carpets, cats, furniture, cloths, jewellery.
      So I guess it all melts down to what you call the modern world. Car, bombs, rockets, guns and bullets or Liberal views, Powerful and efficient government and the pursuit of knowledge?

  3. Debra says:

    Loved 300 and I’m looking forward to this film.

  4. Kennerly says:

    Its 300 on a boat!

  5. Nine finger says:

    the rise of an empire never compete the game of throne

  6. Justin says:

    This move is pure filth and racism. The ancient iranians were a benevolent and peace-loving people. The greeks were the ones who suppressed woman and practiced slavery. The Ancient Persians were benevolent Zoroastrians who worshipped only one God whereas the greeks were sodomite pagans who worshipped many false gods.

    • Ancienttimes says:

      Those were violent times and if a nation didn't invade another and lorded over the captured people, well they didn't have much on their resume.

      If the ancient Iranians were so peace loving why then did they have a huge army and invade other lands? Why did they demand the enslaved people to provide taxes and personnel for the Persian military? Does that sound peace loving and benevolence? No, I didn't think so.

      The Persians were a brilliant people who had grand ideas and their charter of human rights is groundbreaking. But they weren't faultless and they certainly weren't pure. They did use violence to get what and who they wanted. Tho say otherwise is an outright lie.

      You are right in that the Greeks had slavery and suppressed their women. And they were as violent as the Persians. The Spartans were violent and had slaves. But the Spartan women had freedoms and rights that no other ancient peoples even came close to. For that matter, women's rights have only now surpassed the rights of the Spartan women.

      The Greeks both admired and despised the Persians. The Persians were greedy and wanted more for themselves and so invaded Greek cities and lands. This is what started the Greek and Persian conflict. So much for peace loving and benevolent ancient Iranians.

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