New heroes, new glory in '300: Rise of an Empire'
05:00 AM, Apr 09, 2013
Gird yourself for even more swords-and-sandals sparring.
Seven years after Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas spurred his 300 Spartan soldiers on to glory in 300 (and on to a $456 million worldwide box office), the companion film 300: Rise of an Empirewill explore a similar theme when it hits theaters Aug. 2. Though Empire takes place at the same time as the first film, the setting is now a sea battle against an overwhelming Persian fleet.
“It’s not a prequel or a sequel,” says director Noam Murro. “It’s a different perspective and characters in the the battle between the Persians and the Greeks.”
Now it is the battle-scarred politician Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) who musters the Greeks to fight off the invading navy led by the god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his right-hand commander Artemesia (Eva Green).
The film features the same heavily stylized look that director Zack Snyder employed in the original. But there is a noticeable difference: The Greeks are a leaner bunch then the famously buff Spartans of 300.
“These are warriors and they look good and sexy,” says Murro. “But these are not Spartans. These are common Greeks poets, sculptors and bakers who came together to fight.”
Stapleton says rather than bulking up for the role, he lost 25 pounds to achieve the tough, wiry look. “I thought I was going to eat lots of chicken and broccoli and put on heaps of muscles. But it was the exact opposite. We were on a strict diet that leaned us right down.”
These new-look bods are highlighted in the famous 300 skimpy fighting costumes.
“It was a scary costume fitting on the first day when they give you your outfit and it’s basically a pair of leather undies,” says Stapleton. “My daily costume was a leather codpiece and a denim skirt for three months.”