It's All Greek To Me: Helio Speaks with 300 Helmer Zack Snyder

Category: 300 News | Posted by: DaisyMay
Article Date: April 2, 2007 | Publication: Helio Mag (Blog) | Author: Helio
Publication/Article Link:Helio Mag

300 is the latest graphic novel by author Frank Miller to hit the big screen. Whereas his Sin City followed the story of love and hate in a violent futuristic city, 300 is loosely based upon the ancient battles of the Spartans battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

After a hugely successful weekend at the box office, Helio's Jed Maheu spoke to director Zack Snyder about movie critics, his upcoming film adaptation of the cult classic Watchmen series and the art of getting it right.

Helio: Were you worried that this movie would end up like Snakes on a Plane where there was a lot of hype about it but nobody actually went to see it?

Snyder: No. I wasn't because I think 300 is actually a really good movie and the people that were coming out of the screenings were giving it really high marks. We had a ton of people come out on Friday to see the movie but also Saturday and Sunday as the word of mouth sort of spread. And also we got a lot of good reviews from critics.

Helio: Were you a fan of comics and graphic novels before this?

Snyder: I've been a Frank Miller fan for quite awhile and currently I'm working on the film adaptation of the Watchmen which I'm really excited about because, not to say it's like 300The Watchmen takes the super hero genre and turns it into a mirror which shows us our own culture. but it is sort of creating it's own genre of graphic novel or comic book.

Helio: I kind of like that show Heroes but it seems like it's just sort of a rip off of X-Men.

Snyder: I think it's a cool show, but the difference with Watchmen is that it's more like Dr. Strangelove then it is X-Men. Watchmen is I guess a little more real. The thing I say about Watchmen is the bad guy wants world peace, Superman hates or doesn't care about humanity and Batman can't get it up.

Helio: They've been trying to make it into a film for over ten years correct?

Snyder: Yeah, they've been trying for a long time, and I think the problem is that the movie takes place in 1985 and in a lot of ways the recent adaptations have all just updated it and had it take place now. But I think by putting the film back in 1985 you can treat it more like a piece of literature and secondly you can use it as a metaphor as opposed to a blanket statement because a lot of what it says applies to the world today.

Helio: Did you see the new Ghost Rider film and if so what do you think of it?

Snyder: Yes I did and I just… I don't get it. It's such a benign and ridiculous… I don't know it just didn't do anything for me at all. And you know, I would pretty much give myself over to anything.

Helio: Going back to 300 my only complaint was the blood in the movie was a little weak.

Snyder: Nice! I totally get that. In some ways the blood the way we handled it was a little bit of a compromise. It was what I wanted the feeling of it to be but I did feel like I would have an easier time getting the film made if I made the blood a little more abstract.

Helio: It does look pretty cool and all but you know when you see blood you want to see…uh, blood.

Snyder: Absolutely! And if you notice it never lands on the ground. It vaporizes before it ever hits the ground.

Helio: Was there a specific idea behind casting the film with British actors?

Snyder: I gotta say and this may sound a little crazy but one of the things I wanted to do from the beginning was to have English accents in the movie because it's such an accepted convention in that genre and I knew the movies was gonna be crazy in some ways that I thought I would give the audience that to get them in.

Helio: So did you cast Rodrigo Santoro for part of Xerxes because of his previous experience as the voice of Stuart Little in the Brazilian version?

Snyder: No! I did not know that! That is awesome.