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300 is a 2007 American fantasy action film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller. It is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, while Miller served as executive producer and consultant. It was filmed mostly with a super-imposition chroma key technique, to help replicate the imagery of the original comic book.
The plot revolves around King Leonidas ( Gerard Butler ), who leads 300 Spartans into battle against Persian "god-King" Xerxes ( Rodrigo Santoro ) and his army of more than one million soldiers. As the battle rages, Queen Gorgo ( Lena Headey ) attempts to rally support in Sparta for her husband. The story is framed by a voice-over narrative by the Spartan soldier Dilios ( David Wenham ). Through this narrative technique, various fantastical creatures are introduced, placing 300 within the genre of historical fantasy . READ MORE
’300: Rise of an Empire’ - 2013 Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield–on the sea–as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. “300: Rise of an Empire” pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemesia (Eva Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
Gerard Butler as King Leonidas, King of Sparta.- Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo, Queen of Sparta.- Giovani Cimmino as Pleistarchus, son of Leonidas and Gorgo.- Dominic West as Theron, a fictional corrupt Spartan politician.- David Wenham as Dilios, narrator and Spartan soldier.- Vincent Regan as Captain Artemis, Leonidas' loyal captain and friend.- Tom Wisdom as Astinos, Captain Artemis' eldest son.- Andrew Pleavin as Daxos, an Arcadian leader who joins forces with Leonidas.- Andrew Tiernan as Ephialtes, a deformed Spartan outcast.- Rodrigo Santoro as King Xerxes, King of Persia Stephen McHattie as The Loyalist, a loyal Spartan politician.- Michael Fassbender as Stelios, a young, spirited and highly skilled Spartan soldier.- Peter Mensah as a Persian messenger who tries to get Sparta to submit.- Kelly Craig as Pythia, an Oracle to the Ephors.- Tyler Neitzel as young Leonidas.- Robert Maillet as Uber Immortal , a muscular and deranged Immortal who battles Leonidas during the Immortal fight.- Patrick Sabongui as Persian General who tries to get Leonidas to comply at the end of the battle.- Leon Laderach as Executioner, a hulking, clawed man who executes men with whom Xerxes is displeased.
Gerard Butler as King Leonidas, King of Sparta
Gerard James Butler (born 13 November 1969) is a Scottish actor who has appeared on film, stage, and television.
A trained lawyer, Butler turned to acting in the mid-1990s with small roles in productions such as the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), which he followed with steady work on television, most notably in the American miniseries Attila (2001).
He garnered critical acclaim for his work as the lead in Joel Schumacher's 2004 film adaptation of the musical The Phantom of the Opera.
In 2007, Butler gained recognition through his portrayal of King Leonidas in the film 300 .
Since then, he has appeared in projects including P.S. I Love You (2007), Nim's Island(2008), RocknRolla (2008), The Ugly Truth (2009), Gamer (2009), Law Abiding Citizen (2009), The Bounty Hunter (2010), and as a voice actor in How to Train Your Dragon (2010). READ MORE
Rodrigo Junqueira dos Reis Santoro as King Xerxes, King of Persia
Rodrigo Santoro ( 22 August 1975, Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ), one of Brazil's most talented and famous actors, can be seen as Raul Castro, in Steve Soderbergh's new film, Che.
Up next, he can also be seen in Lion's Den by Pablo Trapero, which competed against Che at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
In 2009, Rodrigo will star in Fox Searchlights' The Post Grad Survival Guide along side Michael Keaton and Carol Burnett.
Next year you will also see Rodrigo in I Love You Phillip Morris with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as Jim Carrey's first love. READ MORE
Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo, Queen of Sparta
Lena Headey (born 3 October 1973) is an English actress.
Headey's performance in a one-off show when she was 17 caught the attention of a casting agent, who took a photo and asked her to audition and eventually she got a supporting role alongside Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke in the 1992 British drama film Waterland and went on to appear with higher-profile actors in major films such as The Remains of the Day (1993), The Jungle Book (1994), Onegin (1999) and Aberdeen (2000).
After work steadily as an actress getting small and supporting roles in films throughout the 1990s, she found fame for her lead performances in big-budget motion pictures that became well-known like the fantasy film The Brothers Grimm (2005), in which she acted opposite Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, the action period film 300 (2007), portraying the role of Queen Gorgo and the adventure and biopic feature The Red Baron (2008).
She is known for playing the starring role Sarah Connor on Fox's television spin-off of James Cameron's popular Terminator film series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008–2009).
She currently appears as Cersei Lannister in HBO's television series Game of Thrones (2011), which has received universal acclaim from both critics and audience. READ MORE
Vincent Regan as Captain Artemis
Regan was born in Swansea on 16 May 1965, the son of Irish immigrants.
As a youth he moved to Ireland with his parents, but returned to Britain and attended St Joseph's College, Ipswich in Suffolk.
Regan has over 15 stage roles to his credit, most recently as Achilles in Troilus and Cressida at the Edinburgh International Festival.
In association with The Royal Shakespeare Company, the festival presented director Peter Stein's strongly cast and visually striking production.
He is best known for Ancient Greece-based films 300, in which he played the Captain, Troy, where he played Eudorus, Achilles' second in command, and Clash of the Titans, in which he played King Cepheus.
Regan is also a screenwriter and director, developing projects for his own film company.
His script, Come Like Shadows, is an accessible but classic interpretation of Macbeth headlining Sean Bean and Tilda Swinton, will be directed by John Maybury.
He also appeared briefly as a sexually confused character in British series The Street.
In 1999 Regan received an Irish Best Actor nomination for his co-starring performance in the award-winning miniseries Eureka Street.
He is married to actress Amelia Curtis; and they have two daughters, Chloe (born in 1991) and Esme ( born in 2006 or 2007). READ MORE
Michael Fassbender as Stelios, a Spartan soldier
Michael Fassbender (born 2 April 1977) is an Irish-German actor.
He is known for having played Lt. Archie Hicox in the war film Inglourious Bastards (2009), directed by Quentin Tarantino; and Magneto in the superhero film X-Men: First Class (2011).
His other credits include the fantasy action film 300 (2007); the drama film Fish Tank (2009); the romantic drama film Jane Eyre (2011); the historical film A Dangerous Method (2011), directed by David Cronenberg, in which he plays psychologist Carl Jung; as well as the biographical film Hunger (2008) and the drama film Shame (2011), both directed by Steve McQueen.
For his role in Shame, he won the Volpi Cup best-actor award at the 68th Venice International Film Festival held in August 2011.
Fassbender stars in the upcoming science fiction film, Prometheus, directed by Ridley Scott, scheduled for release in June 2012. READ MORE
Want Hollywood muscle? Try 300-rep Spartan workout—used by the cast of the movie—for a full-body transformation! HERE
Tom Wisdom (born 18 February 1973) is an English actor of theatre, film and television.
His film roles includes the downtrodden hero of Danny Patrick's Hey Mr DJ (2005) and Astinos in 300 (2007).
On television, he played Tom Ferguson in the long-running soap Coronation Street (1999–2000), Ivor Claire in the Evelyn Waugh adaptation Sword of Honour (2001), Stephen Clarke in the thriller Suspicion (2003) and Marco Bailey in Sky One's airline drama Mile High (2003–2004).
Other television work includes Harry Enfield's Brand Spanking New Show, Children of the New Forest, Wycliffe and Blackhearts in Battersea.
In early 2010 Tom starred in an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot.
Wisdom's theatre roles include Stanhope in Journey's End (UK tour, 2005) and Guy Bennett in Julian Mitchell's Another Country (Arts Theatre, 2000). Wisdom created the role of Steven Carter in Patrick Wilde's play What's Wrong With Angry? in 1994.
His films include The Boat That Rocked which was released in the UK on 1 April 2009, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 which was released on August 8, 2008 (US), and Fire and Ice, which was released in Romania in September 2008 and in the US in November 2008 on the Sci-Fi channel. READ MORE
David Wenham as Dilios, narrator and Spartan soldier
David Wenham (born 21 September 1965) is an Australian actor who has appeared in movies, television series and theatre productions.
He is known in Hollywood for his roles as Faramir in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Carl in Van Helsing and Dilios in 300 and Neil Fletcher in Australia.
He is also known in his native Australia for his role as Diver Dan in SeaChange. READ MORE
Dominic West as Theron, a fictional corrupt Spartan politician
Dominic Gerard Fe West (born 15 October 1969) is an English actor best known for his role as Detective Jimmy McNulty in the HBO drama series The Wire. READ MORE
Andrew Tiernan as Ephialtes, a deformed Spartan outcast
British actor whose career has included a start on British television and forays into feature films.
Perhaps his earliest break came in 1991 when he was cast in Edoardo II.
Tiernan followed this with work on TV in Prime Suspect and as stuttering psychopath Sean Kerrigan in Cracker. READ MORE
The comic is a fictional retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae and the events leading up to it from the perspective of Leonidas of Sparta.
Every page of the comic was illustrated as a double-page spread.
When the series was gathered into hardcover form, the individual pages were twice as wide as a normal comic.
Miller's art style for this project was similar to his Sin City work, although the addition of consistent color is an obvious difference.
300 was initially published as a monthly five-issue comic book limited series by Dark Horse Comics, the first issue published in May 1998.
The issues were titled Honor, Duty, Glory, Combat and Victory.
The series won three Eisner Awards in 1999: "Best Limited Series", "Best Writer/Artist" for Frank Miller and "Best Colorist" for Lynn Varley.
The work was collected as a hardcover volume in 1999.
The popularity of the film has boosted sales of the trade paperback edition.
The 10th printing had an announced print run of 40,000 copies, with an 11th printing to follow.
This is in addition to the 88,000 copies already sold since the initial volume was released in 1999. READ MORE
How does the movie 300 end?
After three days of fighting and killing more than 20,000 Persians, all Spartans are killed.
As a final act of defiance, Leonidas bows to Xerxes just before throwing a spear at him, which narrowly misses Xerxes's head and cuts his face, saluting his queen before thousands of arrows rain down on him.
Queen Gorgo stabs and kills Theron in revenge for rape and exposes him as a traitor.
Dilios leads 30,000 Greeks against 40,000 Persians in a final battle for Leonidas. more here
Did you know?
The movie never claims to be historically correct. It is based somewhat loosely on Frank Miller's 1998 comic book mini-series. Changes from history were made by Miller and Snyder so as to appeal to a wider audience and create a more exciting and visually stunning action movie, rather than a typical historical epic.
Frank Miller was inspired by the original Battle of Thermopylae after viewing the 1962 film "The 300 Spartans" as a child. His perception of the 'hero' concept changed greatly after seeing the Spartans make their sacrifice.
The filmmakers used bluescreen 90% of the time, and greenscreen for 10%. They chose blue because it better matched the lighting paradigm (green would have been too bright) and because red garments (a la spartan capes) look better when shot over blue.
In the game Deadliest Warrior: The Game, there is an achievement called "That was Sparta!" that is obtained by killing 300 Spartans.
According to an interview with IGN.com, director Zack Snyder says that fighting styles and formations (particularly the Spartans' phalanx) were purposefully changed - making them historically inaccurate - so they'd "look cool" and work better for movie purposes.
The monologue said by the narrator when it shows Leonidas and his men dead is actually found on the tomb of the real King Leonidas.
Questioning the Story:
Did the Spartans really fight with virtually no body armor?
No. The movie 300 has the Spartan soldiers fighting nearly naked without any form of body armor protecting them. Body armor was a valuable asset to the real Spartan soldiers. 300 author Frank Miller commented on this alteration in an Entertainment Weekly interview, "I took those chest plates and leather skirts off of them for a reason. I wanted these guys to move and I wanted 'em to look good. ... Spartans, in full regalia, were almost indistinguishable except at a very close angle."
Why is King Leonidas the only Spartan in the movie wearing a plumed helmet?
A quick look at the 300 Spartans history reveals that all of the Spartan soldiers had plumes on their helmets. 300 graphic novelist Frank Miller explained this by saying, "Another liberty I took was, they all had plumes, but I only gave a plume to Leonidas, to make him stand out and identify him as a king." Plumes were the red bands of horsehair that were affixed to the top of the helmets. There function was to make the warrior appear taller and more intimidating, while giving him a royal-like appearance. Plumes had very little practical function beyond that.
Did the Spartans really discard their unfit offspring?
Yes. In the movie, we see a government official holding King Leonidas' newborn son above a cliff. The official is inspecting the newborn to decide if it should be discarded.
Was the Persian King Xerxes really bald and 9-feet-tall?
No. The real Persian King Xerxes had a beard and was much shorter. He never went to the front line at the Battle of Thermopylae as his character does in the movie 300. Actor Rodrigo Santoro portrays the 9-foot-tall Xerxes in the film. Rodrigo, who stars on ABC's Lost, is around 6'2". His height and voice were both altered for the role of the Persian King.
Is the movie's hunchbacked traitor Ephialtes based on a real person?
Yes. However, the real Greek traitor Ephialtes, a local shepard, was most likely not a horribly disfigured hunchback.
Did the Persians really use charging elephants and rhinos at Thermopylae?
No. The Persians didn't bring any charging elephants or rhinos to the Battle of Thermopylae.
Are the Immortals based on a real Persian fighting unit?
Yes. The Immortals were Xerxes personal bodyguards. They were an elite fighting unit.
Does the director's real life son appear in the movie?
Yes. Director Zack Snyder's son Eli plays a young Leonidas during the punching scene early in the movie.
Why was the movie shot almost entirely on a soundstage?
300 director Zack Snyder answered this question during a Wired interview, "I wanted to get at the book as much as I could. Shooting outside, we couldn't control the skies and lighting to the extent I wanted to. And the landscapes are different than in real life. They don't exist in the real world, only in Frank Miller's imagination."