Joel Edgerton may play Themistocles in the 300 sequel entitled 300: Battle of Artemisia. Frank Miller has already crafted the graphic novel on which the film will be based. 300‘s director Zack Snyder and 300 writer Kurt Johnstad have finished work on a screenplay for the film and Noam Murro will be directing the film.
This is the first casting speculation I have seen for the 300 sequel but I have seen Joel Edgerton in Warrior recently and The Acolytes. I shorted the The Thing prequel (that’s a rental). Whether any 300 stars make a cameo (one-eyed Dilios with the gift of speech, played by David Wenham or Rodrigo Santoro‘s Xerxes) in the film is uncertain.
For those unaware, Themistocles was:
an Athenian politician and a general. He was one of a new breed of politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy, along with his great rival Aristides. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower class Athenians, and generally being at odds with the Athenian nobility. Elected archon in 493 BC, he took steps to increase the naval power of Athens, which would be a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece, he fought at the Battle of Marathon, and was possibly one of the 10 Athenian strategoi (generals) in that battle.
In the years after Marathon, and in the run up to the second Persian invasion he became the most prominent politician in Athens. He continued to advocate a strong Athenian navy, and in 483 BC he persuaded the Athenians to build a fleet of 100 triremes; these would prove crucial in the forthcoming conflict with Persia. During the second invasion, he was in effective command of the Greek allied navy at the battles of Artemisium and Salamis. Due to subterfuge on the part of Themistocles, the Allies lured the Persian fleet into the Straits of Salamis, and the decisive Greek victory there was the turning point in the invasion, which was ended the following year by the defeat of the Persians at the Battle of Plataea.
After the conflict ended, Themistocles continued to be pre-eminent amongst Athenian politicians. However, he aroused the hostility of Sparta by ordering Athens to be re-fortified, and his perceived arrogance began to alienate him from the Athenians. In 472 or 471 BC, he was ostracised, and went into exile in Argos. The Spartans now saw an opportunity to destroy Themistocles, and implicated him in the treasonous plot of their own general Pausanias. Themistocles thus fled from Greece, and travelled to Asia Minor, where he entered the service of the Persian king Artaxerxes I. He was made governor of Magnesia, and lived there for the rest of his life.
How 300: Battle of Artemisia will use history and Frank Miller’s newly crafted narrative:
…the story starts with the Battle of Marathon” … “The lead character is Themistocles, who became warlord of Greece and built their navy. The story is very different than ‘300? in that it involves Xerxes search for godhood. The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he well on his way to godhood by the end of the story. With Themistocles I have a character who is almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure. He was nicknamed ‘The Subtle Serpent’ and he always manages to do the exact right things that will result in him benefiting greatly.”
Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari are producing 300: Battle of Artemisia and had this to say about the film’s current screenplay:
Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, his writing partner, have killed it. They’ve done a tremendous job making a highly intelligent, epic story that will stand on its own. But it’s not a conventional sequel and, for what we do, that’s what you hope and pray for. That you can be original and authentic at the same time.
What do you think of Joel Edgerton playing Themistocles in 300: Battle of Artemisia?