Zack Snyder Shows Intent to Direct Frank Miller’s Xerxes

By  · Published on July 21st, 2010

Even though he had shown some visual chops with his Dawn of the Dead remake, it was 300 that put director Zack Snyder on the big map. The intensely stylistic, bloody affair propelled both Snyder and star Gerard Butler to Hollywood’s A-List, where both have enjoyed some juicy projects since. Three years later, Snyder and his producing partner/wife Deborah are in the midst of two releases: next year’s girl-power shoot out Sucker Punch and this fall’s heroic animated owl adventure Legend of the Guardians. But Zack seems to be most excited about something new ‐ another collaboration with co-writer Kurt Johnstad and comic legend Frank Miller on Xerxes.

Hero Complex visited Snyder’s production office this week, where the Watchmen director revealed that he’s signed a writing deal to once again adapt Miller’s work. At this point, Snyder directing isn’t set in stone, but it seems highly likely. “It’s really going to depend on what the studio wants to do and what we do when we finish; I don’t have a directing deal in place but we are writing it, so call it intent,” Snyder said. “If there was a crime they could probably convict me.”

Snyder went on to talk about where Xerxes will fit with what we’ve already seen from 300: This movie follows Themistocles and the Battle of Artemisium, which coincidentally happens on the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae [which was the basis of 300],” Snyder said. “This one starts off with a quick retelling of the why of the Persian wars. It starts off at the Battle of Marathon and then it goes back to Themistocles finding out that Persians are invading again. and off we go over to learn a little bit about why Xerxes is the way he is.”

“What I said to the studio is that 300 gave everyone a chance to fight alongside a super warrior,” explained Snyder. “A chance to fight alongside these Spartan warriors that you could never fight against; but Themistocles is different, he is us. It’s much more about the everyman.”

Sounds like an interesting spin set in the already unique world established with 300. Snyder shouldn’t have any trouble getting Warner Bros. to sign him on to direct, nor should there be any issue with him turning out a bloody, gnarly R-rated affair similar to the one that included Spartans and broke box office records. One thing we can probably expect ‐ and this is educated speculation ‐ is that Xerxes will get the 3D treatment. Hopefully it will be shot in 3D, though.

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)