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Only a few days ago it was reported that Guy Ritchie was wanted to direct a remake of Cannonball Run; now he is wanted for the prequel to 300 entitled Xerxes.
Before Frank Miller’s graphic novel has even been published, Legendary Pictures wants to move quickly to adapt it. Xerxes will be set 10 years before the Battle of Thermopylae and focus on the rise of King Xerxes, who was sinisterly played by Rodrigo Santoro. The film promises to focus on a wider conflict, have big pitch battles and have a longer time frame. The film could focus on the Ionian Revolt in Turkey, which the Greeks supported, or the Battle of Marathon. It could even make out that the Persian Empire was not that bad because they did give their provinces autonomy.
300 was made with a budget of $70 million and made over $456 million worldwide. It has a big following given the world stylist, bloody violence and brilliant one-liners. Zack Snyder was originally scaled to direct but he is currently busy working on the next “Superman,” but there are reports that his latest film Sucker Punch has not done well with test audiences.
Guy Ritchie can deliver on violence, kinetic action sequences and get good performances from his actors. If the rumor is true, it will be a further example of Warner Brothers wanting to keep their directors in-house. Ritchie’s last films, Rocknrolla and the “Sherlock Holmes” films, were made under Warner Brothers and the studio has given Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, the Wachowskis and Jonathan Liebesman the same treatment. Ritchie has also created and published a comic book series, Gamekeeper, so he should have some knowledge about comic books as well.
Whilst all this buzz is good for Ritchie who is now becoming an in-demand director again, he has had some bad luck recently; his £6 million London home has been overtaken by squatters and are trying to make it into a “Free-school.”