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300: Rise of an Empire is an upcoming 2014 American action film directed by Noam Murro. It is a follow-up to the 2007 film 300, taking place before, during, and after the events of that film. Zack Snyder, who directed and co-wrote the original film, acts as writer and producer on Rise of an Empire.
The cast includes Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Callan Mulvey, Hans Matheson, and Jack O'Connell. The cast also includes Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro, and David Wenham, reprising their roles from the first film. It is scheduled to be released in 3D and IMAX 3D on March 7, 2014. The composer for the film is Junkie XL.
The movie is a theatrical, romanced, highly graphic view of Greek History under the second Persian invasion of Greece (480--479 BC). It centers on Themistocles of Athens and Artemisia I of Caria, as well as Xerxes I of Persia, and Gorgo, Queen of Sparta. The Battle of Artemisium was a naval engagement, concurrent with the battle of Thermopylae previously displayed in 300, and was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states and the Persian Empire in September 480 BC, in thestraits between the mainland and the northern tip of the island of Euboea. The film will also focus on the naval Battle of Salamis (480BC), just south of Athens, in which Artemisia played a major role, as well as possibly the much earlier Battle of Marathon (490BC), from the first Persian invasion of Greece. The Battle of Salamis (home of the mythical hero Ajax) was fought after the Persian Empire had advanced into southern Greece and occupied Athens.
The film will also cover some of the backstory of Xerxes, and will explain how he became "the God King".
In June 2008, producers Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, and Bernie Goldmann revealed that work had begun on a sequel to 300. Legendary Pictures announced that Frank Miller, who wrote the 1998 comic book limited series on which the film300 was based, was writing a follow-up graphic novel, and Zack Snyder, co-screenwriter and director of 300, was interested in directing the adaptation, but instead chose to develop and direct the Superman reboot Man of Steel. Noam Murro has signed as the director, while Snyder is set to produce. The film will be centered on the Greek leader Themistokles, portrayed by Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton.
During pre-production, the film was titled 300: Battle of Artemisium (although this was widely misreported as "Battle of Artemisia"); the film was retitled 300: Rise of an Empire in September 2012.
Principal photography commenced in early July 2012 at the Nu Boyana Film Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria. On May 10, 2013, it was announced the film's release date would be pushed back from August 2, 2013, until March 7, 2014.