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Joel Edgerton in Talks to Lead ‘300: Battle of Artemisia’

Joel Edgerton may become the new king of college
dorm room posters, as the Aussie actor is in talks to
play the lead in 300: Battle of
Artemisia
.

A sequel to one of the biggest surprises from 2007, “Artemisia” will chronicle the Athenian general
Themistocles as he leads Greek forces against the invading Persian army from
the first film. Vulture brings us the news on Edgerton, who has been busy in the last few months between filming on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby
and doing press for both Warrior and
last month’s The Thing.

Should the film prove
as financially and memetically successful as its predecessor, Edgerton could
see his profile blow-up the way that Gerard Butler’s did after playing the geographically
assured Spartan king Leonidas. “Artemisia” is being co-written by 300 director Zack Snyder, with Smart People director Noam Murro
currently set to helm the project. The film will be based on Frank Miller’s Xerxes, an unreleased 300 prequel that stars the titular Persian
emperor who was the first graphic novel’s villain.

A little digging into
the history books suggests that the sequel will play concurrently with the
original’s timeline, following the Battle of Artemisium, where an outnumbered
allied navy fought against the Persian fleet. Themistocles rallied the Greek
ships and cleverly boxed in the Persian navy, which was routed and lost an
estimated 300 ships. Reading about Themistocles reveals him to be a likeable blockbuster
hero (his favorite military tactic: bribery), and with a release window still
a couple years off, 300: Battle of
Artemisia
may arrive just when the world is ready to fall back in love with
buff dudes doing battle in leather shorts.  

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