It's hard to know what to make of '300: Rise of an Empire' as the first film seemed a pretty complete story, and it came out in 2006 -- which is a long, long time ago in sequel years. But this first trailer for the movie (released to coincide with producer Zack Snyder's latest film 'Man of Steel') looks kind of great.
The footage features only a few familiar faces from the first film (we do get a cameo from Gerard Butler to help tie the two together), but director Noam Murro seems to have studied the look and feel (and speed ramping) of the Zack Snyder-directed first film, and so the aesthetics match up well. But with the boats and bigger locations, this has its own flavor. It doesn't come across -- at least on first pass -- as the same story told with different characters.
It looks like most of the effects work is done (and they look great), which is surely because the film was supposed to hit theaters this summer. It was originally scheduled to open August 2, but was pushed to March 7, 2014. Usually an extended delay is a sign that the studio isn't sure about the movie, but this trailer doesn't suggest they have anything to worry about.