Frank Miller returns to the ‘300’ battlefield with ‘Xerxes': ‘I make no apologies whatsoever’

June 01, 2010 | 1:02 p.m.

EXCLUSIVE

This is a longer version of my Calendar cover story on Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times.

Xerses

Frank Miller and the filmmakers behind 300 are looking for a return to the battlefields of antiquity — and, no doubt, to the arenas of pop-culture controversy.

Three years ago, the sword-and-sandal adventure “300” became a surprise sensation with moviegoers — it set box-office records for a March release and became the highest-grossing R-rated film of 2007 — and delivered career breakthroughs for actor Gerard Butler and director Zack Snyder. But the movie, which was based on the comic books written and drawn by Miller, also triggered an unlikely international incident with its portrayal of the Persian leader Xerxes the bloody Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bitterly denounced the film and the Iranian Academy of the Arts filed a formal complaint through the United Nations that framed the movie as nothing less than an attack on the historical identity of a nation — especially with its portrayal of Xerxes (portrayed by Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro) as leering and androgynous and the Persian army as a demonic horde.

Those foes and critics of “300” will not be enthused to hear that Tuesday,  Miller released the first artwork from his upcoming book — a “300” prequel entitled “Xerxes.” More than that, Snyder and “300” producer Thomas Tull have seen some of Miller’s completed pages and plan to pursue it as a feature film if the finished tale lives up to their hopes.

“If the book is awesome and compelling,” Snyder said Monday, “then, yes, we’re interested.”

Miller said his “Xerxes” will be a six-part tale with each installment released in individual comic book issues beginning next year. The publisher will be Dark Horse Comics, which published Miller’s “300” as a five-issue mini-series in 1998 and which has notable Hollywood success with other properties such as Hellboy and “The Mask.”

“The story will be the same heft as ‘300’ but it cover a much, much greater span of time — it’s 10 years, not three days,” Miller said. “This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in ‘300’ were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it’s a sweeping tale with gods and warriors.”  

Frank Miller hat

The action may take place in the distant past, but as “300” the film showed, any tale that pits the West against a Middle East culture is closely inspected these days for contemporary political messaging. That was especially the case for “300,” which an Iranian government spokesman described a cultural slur of the highest order.

“Not only would no nation or government accept this … but it would also consider it as hostile behavior, which is the result of cultural and psychological warfare,” Tehran official Gholamhossein Elham said in March 2007.  While Tehran officials framed the film as a primer to stir the American populace for war, many cultural critics here in the States saw “300” as the cinematic equivalent of the World Wrestling Federation. In The New Yorker, for instance, David Denby wrote: “Everyone screams at everyone, and specialized Persian warriors wearing masks and other freakish regalia turn up to do battle. Pop has always drawn energy from the lower floors of respectability; this movie, in which fan-boy cultism reaches new levels of goofy chaos and sexual confusion, draws energy from the subbasement.”

The Persians were presented as ruthless but consistently out-wittted, and their leader Xerxes was made to looked like a heavily pierced, decadent Dennis Rodman lookalike, while the Spartans were portrayed primarily as honorable, duty-bound and robust of spirit and body.

Rodrigo Santoro as Xerses

 

As for the title of the new tale, Miller is aware that his choice will be seen as willfully provocative — the portrayal of Xerxes in “300” was deeply offensive in Iran, where the ruler is viewed as part of a noble era in Persian history.

“Yes, I suppose it will be seen as provocative, but really to me he is such a pivotal character and in this story I get to explain him so much more fully,” Miller said. “I do my best to crawl inside his head rather than have him be this iconic force that simply commands this huge army. There are many scenes with him alone or just with his people. There’s an extended scene set in Persepolis, for instance, where he takes power and there are several scenes where he is going through his transitions and he’s shown speaking to his mother and his wife and with all of that he becomes that much more interesting as a character.”

Xerxes may be the title character, but once again a Greek warrior is the protagonist, Miller said.

“The time frame begins 10 years before ‘300’ and the story starts with the Battle of Marathon, which was killer to draw, by the way, even if it was a lot of work,” Miller said. “The lead character is Themistocles, who became warlord of Greece and built their navy. The story is very different than ‘300’ in that it involves Xerxes search for godhood. The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he well on his way to godhood by the end of the story.”

Miller added: “With Themistocles I have a character who is almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure. He was nicknamed ‘The Subtle Serpent’ and he always manages to do the exact right things that will result in him benefiting greatly.”

Miller is arguably the most important comic-book artist of the past 25 years, with a shelf of acclaimed works that include “The Dark Knight Returns,” “Sin City” and “Ronin,” but he finds himself on uncertain ground here in 2010.

Butler300-done2_jd4ebync

 

After the success of the film versions of “300” and “Sin City” (which was co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Miller), Miller made the unprecedented leap from comics-industry star to director of his own feature film with “The Spirit” in 2008. But that grand adventure ended badly — “The Spirit” was savaged by critics, mocked by peers and ignored by moviegoers — and Miller has yet to bounce back in either medium.

But Miller remains a singular visual talent in the mind of Tull, the founder of Legendary Pictures, which has scored hits with films such as “The Dark Knight,” The Hangover and “Clash of the Titans.” Tull said he was a bit in awe during a recent visit to Miller’s studio in New York to get an early peek at “Xerxes,” but he also walked in with a healthy skepticism about revisiting the “300” universe.

“We’ve said since the beginning that we’re not just going to do some prequel or sequel — a ‘301’ — just as some money-grab,” said Tull, a longtime comic fans. “We said if it was a story that was good and it came from Frank and it was organic, that’s the only way it could and would happen. So we’ll see where this leads.”

The first film pulled in $456 million in worldwide box office off a $67-million budget, and its influence could be seen in similar projects, which were as varied as “Clash of the Titans” and the television show “Spartacus.” Not all sword adventures are certain success, of course, as evidenced by “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” which is flat-lining in theaters right now (and took heat for its casting of white actors in Middle Eastern roles). 

[A scene from "300"...]

300 march

 

“300” is remembered for its visual style — Snyder brought an operatic, liquid mayhem to Miller’s drawings of stark battlefields and chiseled warriors. On the page and on the screen, the hyper-real visuals were meant to separate the film from history lessons, Miller said, with overheated personas and bizarre battlefield exaggerations channeling the way outsized Spartan legends were passed on in flickering firelight.

“My intent was misunderstood because in many ways ‘300’ was a deliberate propaganda piece. When I work on a story I choose a point of view. For this story, the approach was to tell this story the way the Spartans told it around the campfire. That’s the reason they were fighting against 80-foot elephants and that’s why Xerxes was portrayed as much larger-than-life figure and given these traits that the Spartans would [project on to] their enemies.”

[Another scene from "300"...]

300 combat

 

With ‘Xerxes,’ the point of view shifts to the Athenians — and Spartans are in fact mocked often throughout the course of the story, Miller says. With the new vantage point and a wider, deeper portrait of Xerxes, might Miller be apologizing for his earlier actions in the cultural warfare? “That’s nonsense. This is a very different story but when it comes to ‘300’ I make no apologies whatsoever.”

Miller said two other characters from “300” make appearances in “Xerxes”: Ephialtes, the Spartan traitor, plays a part in the tale and there is “a brief appearance by Leonidis,” the Spartan king memorably portrayed by Butler on-screen. (“Leonidis,” Miller says, “has a brief but spirited debate with Themistocles.”) The new tale climaxes with a massive naval confrontation that is so dense that it is fought like a land war and it ends on the same day as the events of “300.”

“There is an aftermath that is like an extension of ‘300’ because ‘300’ ended so abruptly with all of them getting mowed down by arrows. I do get into what happened after that and what the entire thing means to Xerxes. Xerxes is a megalomaniac and takes everything as a sign of his godhood. I’ve known people like that.”

Leonidaslong-done_jdqfy2nc

 

As for any Hollywood life for “Xerxes,” Miller said he has no desire to direct or co-direct it and can’t approach his bordered pages as storyboards for a film. “I don’t do a comic book thinking there is a movie. I just want it to be as good a comic book as it can be. It’s up to Zack and company to make it work as a film.”

After the “Spirit” experience, Miller said he especially enjoyed the imperatives of his old medium and telling  stories with a serialized, standalone chapter approach that lends itself to the periodical nature of comic-book publishing.

“It imposes a discipline and structure and, at the very least, there has to be a question asked at the end of each chapter. Or a moment of unbelievable peril or some resolution of some kind. I believe with ‘Xerxes,’ the way I’ve constructed this, I will have all three. We’ll find out.”

– Geoff Boucher

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Comments


79 Responses to Frank Miller returns to the ‘300’ battlefield with ‘Xerxes': ‘I make no apologies whatsoever’

  1. Chris says:

    Great piece, Geoff. I have high hopes for this.

  2. Sophie says:

    You failed to mention that Frank Miller has made extremely derogatory statements against the Middle East, and Islam in general. He believes that white/Western civilization is superior in virtually all respects, so I was never surprised that '300' is the way that it is.

    • not PC says:

      You're a fairly politically correct one, aren't you, Sophie? Take that PC crap back to your coffeeshop, no one wants to hear that tedious nonsense over here.

    • John says:

      I don't know about 'white', that has nothing to do with it. But if we're comparing cultures, that of the secularized western ideology of individual rights and tolerance for a pluralistic society as compared to the Islamic culture that dominates the Middle East, a misogynistic culture that likes to stone teenage girls and homosexuals to death and has no respect for religious diversity or dissent, then yeah I can see how the former is far superior to the latter. I actually don't understand why the left in this country, that has absolutely no values in common whatsoever with Islamic culture is so willing to defend something that is the complete opposite of what they believe in?

      • Seán says:

        Give it a break the KKK still roams around in the US and Bush was worse than any Islamic leader in history. Your imbecilic failure to understand what Islam is is typical of the monkey brained dolt clogging up the US.

      • Matt says:

        Nice. Loads of insults, not much real content. Tell me which nations have honor killings, government-sponsored religions, and where homosexuality is illegal and/or punishable by jail time or death? Would those be in the West? Where exactly, if you don't mind.

  3. Cal Godot says:

    "…a megalomaniac and takes everything as a sign of his godhood. I've known people like that."
    Coming from Frank Miller, that is deliciously ironic.

    • JonJ says:

      I was just thinking the same thing. I'm new to this site, so I was disappointed in Geoff Boucher's interview. Then I looked around and all the interviews are like that. Kind of a pathetic site if you ask me.

  4. CJ says:

    Scissor me Xerxes.

  5. David Blum says:

    Has anyone actually bothered to read Herodotus, the original source for this material. He's really entertaining, and gives highly detailed portrayals of Xerxes, Themistocles, and other participants in the Greek Persian conflict.
    Xerxes is portrayed as a power hungry despot who wants to prove himself the equal of his overachieving father Darius. Themistocles is a shrewd but greedy general/admiral who's always on the look out for himself.
    It's rather sad they need comic books for inspiration. The source material has dozens of movies in it, it's sprawling, fascinating, and fantastical.

    • You are asking for them to actually read something that is historically correct and that doesn't have pictures or kapow, splat, attached to it., that's a hard sell to these knuckle scrapers……

  6. nickmagoo says:

    Americans have absolutely no concept of the true magnificence and breadth of the Persian Empire, and every time I see it portrayed either in films or books (except for Gore Vidal's wonderfully entertaining 'Creation') I'm sick to my stomach at the overt racism and ignorance.

  7. gabe says:

    Every civilization looks upon their own history with rose tinted glasses. Flipped around, the Iranians would have made the Greeks to be the bad evil guys. C'mon, they got nothing here, and they are forgetting that it's just entertainment after all, love for good action flicks is universal.

    • John says:

      Iranians? Who are they? They were never called that 2 1/2 thousand years ago. I find it strange that a society dominated by Islamic culture and Sharia law would ever try to link themselves to an ancient society and culture they have nothing in common with. How strange. Just sounds like irrational nationalism on the part of the Iranians to me.

      • Tom says:

        Are you serious, John? Take a history class, the Indo-European (e.g. Post-Elamite) inhabitants of the Iranian plateau have been calling their land "Eran" or "Eranshahr" for 2,500 years.

        Your ignorance is astounding. Iranians would never try to link themselves with Ancient Persia? Ever heard of the Shahnameh? Look it up.

        Nothing in common with Ancient Persia? Try again. Maybe read up on the Persian Language, Norooz, qanats, etc…

    • Propaganda can be dressed up as entertainment.

  8. seedoubleyou says:

    I say, cool. "300" wasn't historically accurate –and I assume, nor will "Xerxes" be– but Xerxes was such a great character in the movie, that I'd love to see more of him. Besides, anyone getting their ancient Greek and Persian history from comic books or movies, probably shouldn't be surprised if they fail their history exams.

  9. cell626 says:

    it's not our fault we don't know persian culture, blame it on the khans since they literally erased their history.

  10. Yargle123 says:

    I am against the comicification of movies in general. Raised on the comics I grew out of them long ago; read some some time, they really don't entertain all that well; after the 500th phony super kewl fight it's all just dull. But since the days when I picked up a Frank Miller mag (Daredevil) I've always given this mad genius a second look because even though the stylized violence and dark dark vision are fundamentally warped in their real world implications, as art they endure the test of deep scrutiny and I believe will stand the test of time.
    "300" is a deeply flawed incoherent movie on many levels and that is why it is so very fascinating; it's unfortunate that "B movies" have to be so darned expensive but like David Lynch, Chris Nolan, Tarantino, the Coen brothers to name a few, I think H'wood should let them do what whatever they want.

  11. Tom says:

    Yeah the Persian Empire was great back then. They fell from greatness ever since they started believing in Allah.

  12. get priorities strai says:

    If Iranians and their government spoke out against terrorism and suicide bombings half as much as they do about a freaking movie, this world would be a better place.

    • smart says:

      The Iranian had nothing to do with 9/11. Quit being a lofo and talking about terrorism. The entire premise of the United States presumes that the Iraninans (and EVERYONE) speaking out when they feel slandered makes "this world a better place." You know the entire idea about diversity of opinion and exchange of values? Our entire American civilization is based on the idea of the Persians and everyone else getting an airing for their divergent beliefs. I mean gays, blacks and Jews bitching about their portrayal is Democracy but Persians or North Korean talking about their views is somehow not constructive?

      It's ppl like you that signals the decline of America. We can't even consistently apply our own values.

      You literally cannot overestimate the ignorance of the average American. Full of piss and vinegar to judge the world without even an iota of actual knowledge or intellect. Xerses' forefather Cyrus created what's considered the first Statement of Human Rights in history, the Cyrus Cylinder. It's in fact what's the BASIS for the creation of the modern state of Israel (the Jews in 18th century England used it to appeal to the ego of the British King to be "as great" as Cyrus and repatriate the Israelis once again in Palestine). By every measure the Achaemenids was a more civilized and progressive civilization than the Greeks. The Greeks had slaves and buttsecked young boys, the Persians guaranteed human rights and freedom of religion.

      FWIW I think Miller wasn't that bad in 300. However, Hollywood absolutely demonized the Persians and were much much worse in the movie they did come off as a demonic horde in Synder's hands, which isn't necessarily the case in Miller's comic

  13. confucius says:

    Persians have absolutely no concept of the true magnificence and breadth of the United States of America, and every time I see it portrayed either in Islam or news, I'm sick to my stomach at the overt racism and ignorance.

    • Sophie says:

      Then you obviously have no familiarity with the Middle East or how anything is portrayed there in the media, except how the media in the West tells you how the West is portrayed in the media in the Middle East.

      • Relax says:

        Seems like there is alot of that going around. Please share with us your firsthand experience with Middle Eastern culture. Especially the part about how they love "white/western culture" so much more than we love them.

    • JonJ says:

      Well I'm an American and until I read your comment I was not aware that there was such a thing as "magnificence and breadth" of the United States. Please inform me as to what you're referring to. Wal-Mart?

    • smart says:

      Persians in 300 were not Muslim. Islam didn't even exist.

      They were Zoroastrians, which was basically the first monotheistic religion (upon which Jesus was based, and earlier, upon which most of the early Hebrew bible was ripped… the Flood etc)

  14. I enjoyed "300" although it rather simplified history. At least Frank Miller gives us some Western heroes to root for. I'm tired of seeing Hollywood undermine our traditional heroes and make them apologists for radical Islam. Just look at how they revised the myths of Robin Hood and Perseus in the remakes of "Robin Hood" and "Clash of the Titans" (which incidentally was no match for the original Ray Harryhausen film) and put in messages where Perseus, for example, is aided by mystical Islamic suicide bombers. Don't believe me? Then just read this article at the new Libertas Film Magazine where the author shows exactly how the remakes of "Clash of the Titans" and "Robin Hood" valorize radical Islam:
    http://www.libertasfilmmagazine.com/robin-hood-cl
    At least Frank Miller has his head screwed on straight and knows who our real enemies are – the terrorists who want to kill us. I'm excited about "Xerxes" and look forward to seeing it.

    • sophie says:

      Yeah, God forbid Hollywood should portray any Muslim-type concept, person, culture, etc., as anything but evil against the poor and pure West.

      "The survivors are saved by the Djinn, a band of former human shamans who have turned themselves into the Demons of Arabian mythology, by replacing their earthly flesh with ash and stone. Though they do not trust the Djinn at first until their leader Sheikh Suleiman (Ian Whyte) heals Perseus' wounds."

    • JonJ says:

      Speak for yourself. I'm not afraid of dying, so I'm not afraid of terrorists. It's obvious who your real enemy is, and that's the fear that has taken control of your soul.

  15. Get your information says:

    Why exacltly do the Iranians have the responsibility to speak out against terrorism and suicide bombings? Please name one terrorist or suicide bomber who is Iranian? You cannot. Iran has never attacked any nation, as we have, nor have they formed any terrorist group or suicide bomber in retaliation to another country!
    Before you speak please look and your geography and history. Iranians are NOT responsible for the actions of their arab neighbors anymore than we are. Further, they are not responsible for the actions of any terrorist group outside their soverign borders. All middle easterns are not the same nor should they be lumped together. I feel sorry that you look at the look that black and white and cannot hide your blatant racism at all.

  16. Phil says:

    I hate Frank Miller for destroying the Spirit.
    I can see that some of you are taking this comic book a wee bit too seriously. When Miller can't even be bothered to draw Xerxes even the least bit accurately we know how seriously to take his "work".

  17. Narukami says:

    As a piece of comic book or cinematic art 300 and this new prequel may indeed be noteworthy, but as history they are worthless.
    Unfortunately, too many people will accept what they see as history.
    How many people think the Emperor Commodus murdered his father Marcus Aurelius and was himself killed in the arena by a gladiator?
    Or that the Praetorian Guard wore black armor like proto Waffen-SS soldiers?
    Or that the Spartans were fighting for freedom and against slavery?
    Of course, as John Sayles rightly points out:
    "If historical accuracy were the thing people went to the movies for, historians would be the vive presidents of studios. Every studio would have two or three historians."
    We should be so lucky.

  18. thor says:

    I can't wait for this to be released. I was hoping he would just finish off the All start batman and robin comics but he is probably best suited to the creator owned medium as it has less restrictions.

  19. sophie says:

    Frank Miller and the rest of the ignoramuses on here have no idea that Europeans and their "Western" Civilization would still be languishing in the Dark Ages if it weren't for Moorish Spain. It was the Moors of Spain and North Africa that translated the ancient works of Aristotle, et al, into Arabic then Spanish, etc, that allowed the Europeans to become aware of them. The "Renaissance" of Europe would not have been possible without the culture, science and civilization established by the Moors in Spain.
    Kevin Costner's version of Robin Hood is the one shining light in this, via Morgan Freeman's portrayal of a Moor (who made the barbaric English recoil when he tried to save the life of a delivering mother via Caesarian section). Also, the see The 13th Warrior, and the much better book by Michael Crichton (Eaters of the Dead) that it's based on.
    The ancient Persian Empire was powerful and accomplished, just like many empires .
    As for Islam, its civilization is the only one that has militarily defeated European Christendom. I think alot of people are just upset over that. Same game, different name (Crusades, etc.).

    • Tom says:

      Correct, and it should be noted that much of that cultural diffusion from the Islamic empire to Europe originated with both Islamic-era and pre-Islamic era scholarship and innovation that originated in Iran.

  20. MikeH says:

    Wow, Frank Miller IS Lamont Cranston.

  21. Jeff K. says:

    The irony here is that our source for much of this material is Herodotus, who saw Greek (not European) civilization as superior to Persian civilization. Though the portrayal of Xerxes was a-historical in Miller's version, it is a portrayal that Herodotus would actually approve of.
    As for Sophie, perhaps you should broaden your historical knowledge. Moorish Spain was an isolated outpost that was a mere remnant of the overturned Umayyad Caliphate. Spain played little role in the European Middle ages after the rise of the Abassids. The idea of a "Dark Ages" is really a myth. And finally, the Byzantines contributed to the rise of Western Europe as much as the Abassid Muslims did. Try not to embarass yourself in your next attempt to be hip by slamming Western Europe.

    • sophie says:

      An "isolated outpost" that produced the greatest flowering of Jewish and Muslim culture in Europe, ie, the works of Maimonides, and countless other Jewish scholars. An "isolated outpost" which once it was destroyed by Ferdinand and Isabella, gave way to the first cultural, religious and ethnic genocide in Europe, known as The Spanish Inquistion. Way to dismiss 400 years of history!

  22. Bugs says:

    Next time I'm in the mood for empty style over substance, I'll check out 'Xerxes.'

  23. hotspur says:

    And yet, sophie, Islam never allowed the kind of inquiry that Christendom allowed to pursue scientific advancements such as autopsies (which allowed the West to move beyond Galen's work). I know you want to prove, somehow, that Islam is a superior force to anything teh West has offered (typical of guilty liberals), but the truth is that it left a society stuck in history. For the record, Persians of the time were quite tolerant compared to the Spartans, but Greek thought on government, logic, and reason would likely not have flourished under Persian rule.

    • Tom says:

      Inquiry? You mean like Biruni's Ethnography, Khwarezmi's Algebra, Khayyam's Astronomy, Tusi's Biology, Avicenna's "Canon" and the Academy of Gondishapur, Farisi's Optics or countless other scientific breakthroughs in the Middle Ages by Iranian polymaths?

      Greek thought, if you know anything about the pre-Socratic philosophers of Ionia, was actually heavily INFLUENCED by Persian religious thought. Look up Democritus, atomism and his references to a Persian he studied under named Osthanes. Heraclitus' dualism was heavily influenced by Zoroastrian theology, and Thales, the originator of Western philosophy lived in an Ionia that was absorbing the ideas and culture of its new Persian overlords.

      It's debatable as to whether Persian rule would have stopped the development of Athenian Democracy. It should be noted however, that it was the Macedonian Greek Alexander that put an end to Democracy, and Cyrus the Great of Persia's "Cyrus Cylinder" is considered the world's first declaration of human rights.

    • Era says:

      Christendom burnt Giordano Bruno alive for claiming that the earth is not the centre of the universe, along with many other scientists of that time. For witchcraft. They burnt temples and ancient libraries because all books were the heresy and there supposed to be only ONE BOOK that carries the knowledge. Don't remember Islam doing anything of the kind……..
      And, just for the record, ancient Iraqis (Sumerians, Akkads, Babylonians, Assyrians) developed math, astronomy and urban planning when representatives of the modern Western Civilization were still living in caves….

  24. David Ferguson says:

    FTA: "Xerxes is a megalomaniac and takes everything as a sign of his godhood. I've known people like that."
    See? Miller is making another political statement. That statement above describes Obama perfectly.

  25. Travis Chittom says:

    This Islamic civilization was so tolerant that today in north Africa there are almost no Christians or Jews left. These places were entirely Christian at the time of their bloody conquest. Here is an interesting fact in regards to Spain. That country publishes more books in a year then ALL of the Muslim countries combined have in the past 14 centuries. Yet to think that they launched the Renaissance in Europe.

  26. ig says:

    Frank Miller produced some great work in the 80s and 90s with series like Daredevil, Dark Knight, Batman Year One and Sin City. In the last decade though the quality of his work has gone markedly down. The Spirit was just the latest example of that. His Dark Knight sequel was atrocious. I don't hold out much hope for Xerxes.

  27. Brett says:

    ig hit the nail on the head. The arc of Miller's work shows that his best work is behind him by more than a decade. Xerxes looks to continue that downward spiral.

  28. Jeremy says:

    "Miller has yet to bounce back in either medium."
    How can you say that Frank Miller is a failure? He hasn't put out any comics in the last several years so how could he have possibly lost his audience? He has worked on Batman & Robin but the book's sporatic appearances are more the fault of Jim Lee than a rejection of Miller. And 'The Spirit' is about a minor character that isn't well known to modern audiences so it would never become a blockbuster. Most directors go years between projects so 2 years is hardly a condemnation of his abilities. You should have been more accurate (and less derogatory) about him since you are pretty much an expert on all things comic related.

  29. Alex says:

    I don't go to the movies anymore, anyway.
    Frank, do whatever you do, you're a legend. I'll pick up Boy Wonder when it comes out. Jim Lee rules, too.

  30. Joe Melnick says:

    Unbelievable, the person above who says Iran has never hurt anyone. Hamas and Hezbollah are both created and operated by Iran. They are behind ALL of the terrorism in Iraq and the IDEs that killed so many US troops. They also stone women and execute gays, just for laughs.
    Iran's people may be swell, but their government is, along with the Saudis, the source of islamic terrorism in the world.
    Also, persians are ethnically 'white', so casting for the Prince of Persia wasn't racist.
    Get your facts, indeed.

    • Tom says:

      There is no biological basis for 'race', much less ethnicity. Both are social constructs used to differentiate groups in relation to their neighbors for purposes of convenience. Read Fredrik Barth's 'Ethnic Groups and Boundaries."

      So casting Jake Gyllenhaal as a Persian makes about as much sense as casting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as George Washington.

  31. Earth to Joe Melnick: Get off your Eurocentric high horse. The world needs terrorism. That's what God wants. If the terrorists don't protect monotheists from sexual perversion and individualism, then who will? Certainly, not individuals such yourself.

  32. Chuck says:

    Miller gonna take another stab at "White Revisionist History"?
    The fact that this racist made Xerxes into a scary pierced up Black dude should make people raise their eyebrows in concern.
    300 was so twisted of actual historical events that i chuckle every time i hear douche bag wanna-be frat boys saying "This is Sparta!".
    As an artist, Miller is a awesome. As a writer, he sucks

  33. [...] up to Zack and company to make it work as a film.” Here are some excerpts from this great article in the LA Times: “The time frame begins 10 years before 300,” said Miller, “and [...]

  34. [...] on the plot of the book a bit, Miller talked to Hero Complex about how the story of Xerxes is much more complex than 300: The story will be the same heft as [...]

  35. [...] Frank Miller returns to the ’300′ battlefield with ‘Xerxes’: ‘I make no apologies whatsoever’ [Hero Complex] [...]

  36. [...] Puedes leer el articulo completo en Hero Complex [...]

  37. [...] la historia en sí, Miller ha hablado extensamente con Hero Complex sobre cómo el personaje de Jerjes, interpretado por Rodrigo Santoro en la primera parte, se vuelve [...]

  38. [...] Miller returns to ”300″ with “no apologies” More in: Comics, Sneak Peek [...]

  39. [...] Miller returns to ”300″ with “no apologies” More in: Comics, Sneak Peek [...]

  40. [...] Miller returns to ”300″ with “no apologies” More in: Comics, Dean Haspielmotion comics [...]

  41. [...] for what Xerxes will be about, Miller explained the plot of the graphic novel to The L.A. Times last July: “The time frame begins 10 years before 300 and the story starts with the Battle of [...]

  42. [...] the same name. Here is Miller’s explanation of the tale from his June 2010 interview with the L.A. Times: “The story will be the same heft as ’300′ but it covers a much, much greater span of time [...]

  43. [...] Miller returns to ”300″ with “no apologies” More in: Comics, AnimationMoebius [...]

  44. [...] Miller returns to ’300′ with ‘no apologies’ More in: Comics, Karl StevensLos Angeles Times Book PrizesNoelene ClarkThe Lodger [...]

  45. Seán says:

    Oi Millar lose the hat. Lets face it he's got less artistic integrity than Andrew LLoyd Webber.

  46. [...] Terror” instead of the slop from islamic propagandists and their tools here in the West. His “300″ was great and I hope someone has the balls to make “Holy Terror” into a movie too.  Dr…. [...]

  47. bane says:

    I've read all Batman histories & I like theme.
    If Frank Miller hate the persian culture why he is inpired by Ferdowsi's Shahname for Batman histories ?
    When i read the batman I see clearly that Batman character is inspired by Rostam the hero of Iranian ( persian ) culture. Talia Algul is inspired by Tahmina ( another character of shahnameh ). or Ras algul is inspired by Samangan shah ( king ). or in Batman Dark knight returns the leader of Mutans gang is inspired by the [DIV E SEFID] ( the white monster in shahnameh). In shahnameh of Ferdowsi , Rostam and his son ( son of tahmina ) fight against each other.
    Why Frank Miller and other batman scenarists are so obsessed by Persian Culture and history ?

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