'300' Prequel Gets Slightly Better Title, Release Date

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Warner Brothers

It's nearly impossible to make a sequel to '300' when you've *Spoiler alert for a five year old movie* only got a handful of surviving main characters. But when the first film made $210 Million domestically, and nearly a half a billion worldwide, it's near impossible for a studio to walk away from the property. So we're getting a prequel, and that prequel has a name now.

It's (hold your breath for maximum impact): '300: Rise Of An Empire,' (it was '300: The Battle of Artemisia') and it will be released August 2, 2013, which means that shooting will be starting shortly. It's coming from director Noam Murro, who helmed the completely forgotten 2008 picture 'Smart People.' Considering that the first film is known for its speed-ramping and heightened color design, this is an out of the box choice, or perhaps a box marked half off. '300' helmer Zack Snyder went on to bigger and better things - his Superman film 'Man of Steel' is due out next summer, and is one of the summer's biggest tentpoles.

'300: Rise Of An Empire' will have at least one returning cast members, according to Deadline Hollywood: Rodrigo Santoro comes back to play Persian king Xerxes again, while the new players are headed up by Sullivan Stapleton, who plays the Athenian general Themistocles. Stapleton had a good role in 2010's 'Animal Kingdom.' We hope this prequel is better than 'Wrath of the Titans.' Which is to say the bar for this one is pretty low.

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