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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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