Butler spearheads sword-and-sandal war epic for Warner

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: August 16, 2005 | Publication:
Screen Daily | Author: Jeremy Kay in Los Angeles
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Gerard Butler (pictured) will star in Warner Bros’ adaptation of 300, a graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City) that recounts one of ancient Greece’s best-known military battles.

Warner, returning to the sword-and-sandal action-adventure genre that yielded blockbuster results at the global box office with Troy but more mixed fortunes with Alexander, plans to begin principal photography in Montreal on Oct 17. The studio will distribute 300 worldwide.

Zack Snyder, who recently remade George A Romero’s seminal zombie picture Dawn Of The Dead, will direct.

300 is the true story of how an elite unit of Spartan warriors thwarted the massive Persian army at the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Butler will play the Spartan king Leonidas as he takes on the Persian “god-king” Xerxes.

In Miller’s blood-spattered interpretation the story culminates with Leonidas, riddled with arrows, exacting revenge on Xerxes with his final dying breath.

Snyder and his writing partner Kurt Johnstad adapted the screenplay, based on a previous draft by Michael Gordon.

Gianni Nunnari is producing the project for Hollywood Gang Productions, along with Mark Canton for Atmosphere Pictures, Bernie Goldmann and Jeffrey Silver. Miller, Deborah Snyder and Craig J Flores are serving as executive producers.
Senior vice president of production Greg Silverman and creative executive Geoff Shaevitz will oversee the production for the studio.

“[Zack’s] innovative, energetic vision, combined with his Spartan-like determination to get the picture made, will undoubtedly result in a cool, contemporary depiction of Miller's novel images,” Nunnari said.

“We are pleased to be doing this extraordinary project with [president and chief operating officer] Alan Horn, Jeff Robinov [president of production] and their colleagues at Warner Bros Pictures,” Canton said.

“The combination of Frank Miller's trademark style, Zack Snyder’s creative vision and our international ensemble cast, headed by Gerry Butler, will make this movie exciting for audiences of all ages all over the world, as it is the most entertaining way to tell the story of the 300 Spartans.”

"As Frank Miller did with his stunning graphic novel Sin City, we endeavour to re-invent the sword and sandal genre,” Goldmann said.

Sin City, which Miller adapted for the screen and co-directed with Robert Rodriguez, has so far taken $126m at the worldwide box office for Miramax and its international partners. A sequel has already been greenlit.