Hollywood Hitlist: A Sneak Peek at '300'

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: November 10, 2006 | Publication: MSN Entertainment | Author: Editors
Publication/Article Link:http://entertainment.msn.com

Nov. 10, 2006

Mainstream America got a taste of Frank Miller's talents when he co-directed an adaptation of his own comic book, the noir-thriller "Sin City," two years ago. This spring the comic legend will show a different side with "300." The picture is a loose retelling of the battle of Thermopylae, circa 480 B.C., where 300 Spartans fought to the death against a massive Persian army. Zack Snyder ("Dawn of the Dead") is behind the camera this time around. After a preview of the movie this week, it's clear there will be a lot of blood, guts and perfectly cut abs. Did those Spartans really know how to watch those carbs or was it all movie magic?

"I will be perfectly honest with you ... there is a little bit of makeup and airbrushes to help with the abs, but 99 percent is just sweat and an awful lot of caring," Snyder says.

The director cast British actors such as Gerard Butler as Spartan King Leonidas and Vincent Regan as Leonidas' Captain. According to Snyder, Regan in particular had no idea he was going to be "basically naked in the movie."

"When I showed some of the footage in England [recently], I said I cast English actors because they are notoriously health-conscious people who love fitness above most other pursuits," Snyder says sarcastically. He then notes, "They love fish 'n' chips and beer. They don't love turkey breasts and weights."

However the actors achieved their abs-of-steel look, that training regimen should be distributed in a pamphlet with each movie ticket purchased.

Like its "Sin City" predecessor, "300" was shot almost completely in front of green screen with the beautiful landscapes and the picture's treated look added digitally during postproduction. During the film preview, the press was shown scenes of young Spartan boys in brutal training, dramatic battles featuring the Spartans against Persian forces called the Immortals, and a very R-rated sex scene between King Leonidas and his queen, played by the alluring Lena Headey.

It was all intoxicating stuff, which definitely makes "300" one of the more intriguing flicks coming out in the first half of 2007.

For Frank Miller, who is getting set to direct an adaptation of another one of his works ("The Spirit"), "300" brings to life a historical event he has been obsessed with since he was 7 years old.

"I think what this team has put together with sheer dedication, verve and even with humor is going to create a bunch more little bright-eyed kids with a story they can't get out of their heads," Miller says.

"300" opens nationwide March 9.