Jan. 18, 2013 | 4:34 p.m.
To reprise the character of Xerxes, the nefarious 9-foot tall antagonist he portrays in director Zack Synder’s breakthrough swords and sandals blockbuster “300,” for the highly anticipated August spinoff “300: Rise of an Empire,” Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro learned the true meaning of no pain, no gain. The role demanded that Santoro rebuild the same rippling musculature he shows off to impressive effect in the 2006 historical thriller (based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller) – a truly Herculean effort that involved three months of grueling gym workouts to build biceps and add bulk to Santoro’s slight surfer’s frame. “It was intense,” the actor said during an interview to promote his turn in the new Arnold Schwarzenegger action vehicle “The Last Stand,” directed by revered South Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-Woon. “It was a very specific physique that character has. […]
June 30, 2011 | 8:01 a.m.
For the better part of a decade, Frank Miller has been talking about a graphic novel on terrorism called “Holy Terror,” but it was only this week that he could say the one sentence everyone was waiting to hear. “I’m done,” Miller said. “It was eight years in the making, but I’m done.” The 120-page book will hit the shelves right after the 1oth anniversary of 9/11 and Miller — the 54-year-old creator of “”The Dark Knight Returns,” “”300” and “Sin City“ – promises that the tale and imagery will be “pretty rough,” which is saying something given his history of scorching political rhetoric and ultra-violent artwork. For many followers of Miller’s career, though, the biggest shock of “Holy Terror” is the fact that it’s actually reaching stores. Miller is arguably the most important comic book artist of the last three decades but […]
Dec. 16, 2010 | 12:40 p.m.
I sent a note to Frank Miller asking if he had a moment to draw a holiday greeting for Hero Complex readers. I wasn’t sure what to expect. A “Sin City” Santa? A “Xerxes” Xmas? Here’s what I got back: “Christmas 2010,” Frank Miller – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED: Miller returns to “300″ without apology Zack Snyder: “Xerxes” script underway ESSAY: An Iranian-American wrestles with”300′s” message Miller searches for “The Spirit” of Eisner Miller: Imagine Sly in “Dark Knight Returns” Miller drops “terrible, glorious” F-bombs
Sept. 28, 2010 | 9:39 a.m.
As reported at Hero Complex, Frank Miller is well underway with “Xerxes,” a follow-up to the graphic novel “300,” and filmmaker Zack Snyder is also laboring on a screen adaptation that would take moviegoers back to the battlefields of antiquity shown in the 2007 surprise Warner Bros. hit. That first film touched off international debate: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bitterly denounced it, 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. Now, with a looming companion comics series and probable feature film on the horizon, are we ready for another round of the East-versus-West […]
July 29, 2010 | 3:18 p.m.
For years, Frank Miller spoke of a Gotham City graphic novel that would be like no other — for the 120 bone-crunching pages of “Holy Terror, Batman!” Miller — arguably the most important comic book artist of the last 30 years — envisioned a story in which the Caped Crusader went on a blood quest against Al Qaeda. Earlier this week, sitting over coffee at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, Miller said the elusive project is finally close to completion but that the name and central character have changed and that DC Comics won’t be the publisher. Miller frames all of this as a decision that was driven by the work itself and not dictated by a DC leadership that, according to insiders, has long been leery of the politically charged concept. “It’s almost done; I should be […]
July 21, 2010 | 4:38 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE It’s official: Zack Synder, the director of “300,” is going back into battle on the side of the ancient Greeks — and Frank Miller. “We closed the writing deal on ‘Xerxes.’ We started writing about a week ago,” Snyder said, referring to his script work with “300″ collaborator Kurt Johnstad. “So we’re doing it. It’s happening.” Snyder has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. (which is taking his 2011 film “Sucker Punch” down to Comic-Con International in a big way this Saturday) and the presumption is that Snyder will direct this film, but that’s not a done deal yet. “It’s really going to depend on what the studio wants to do and what we do when we finish; I don’t have a directing deal in place but we are writing it, so call it intent,” Snyder said with a chuckle when I visited his […]
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. 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 […]
Dec. 11, 2009 | 6:04 p.m.
This is a longer version of my cover story in this upcoming Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times. — G.B. There were inscriptions written above the entrance of the Temple of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi, and the two most famous ones were cautionary words of wisdom: “Know thyself” and “Nothing too much.” Those bits of ancient advice are worth considering as two Hollywood studios hope to launch film franchises that use Greek mythology as the unlikely premise for popcorn entertainment. “These are the stories that began storytelling in many ways,” director Louis Leterrier said a few months ago on the London set of his “Clash of the Titans,” the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures epic that arrives in theaters in March with Sam Worthington as Perseus, Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. “These are […]