Sullivan Stapleton to Play Xerxes in '300: Battle of Artemisia' Prequel?

February 8, 2012
Source: Deadline

Sullivan Stapleton / Xerxes

Though Rodrigo Santoro brought Xerxes to life in Zack Snyder's comic book adaptation 300, it looks like a different actor will strap on the gold chains for the gestating prequel 300: Battle of Artemisia. Deadline has word that Animal Kingdom star Sullivan Stapleton has landed the villainous role in the film that will follow the Battle of Artemisium, which is where the Persian leader Xerxes fought the warlord named Themistocles (a role that was rumored to go to Joel Edgerton but is not yet cast). The story takes place over several years, but the focal point is the Battle of Artemisium and learning why "Xerxes is the way he is."

Noam Murro is behind the film this time with a script from 300 director Zack Snyder which he wrote with the original film's co-writer Kurt Johnstad. It should be interesting to see how a director like Murro, who has no action experience, fares with something like this, especially following in the footsteps of Snyder's over-the-top, slow-motion, action-packed film. If Edgerton does end up taking the role of Themistocles in the film, it would be quite an interesting reunion for the cast of Animal Kingdom. With Xerxes now cast, we'll likely hear of more names joining the film sooner than later so stay tuned.

UPDATE: Variety has the same story about Stapleton taking a lead role in the film, but the role may not actually be Xerxes. Stay tuned as more information becomes available.

UPDATE 2: Deadline has updated their terribly inaccurate story to say that Stapleton will actually be playing Themistocles in the film, not Xerxes as was originally reported. In addition, it sounds like Santoro is in talks to reprise his role as Xerxes. Good news?

Find more posts in Casting, Development, Movie News

Discover more around the web:

  • Anonymous
    if he is in the role joel edgerton passed on he is not xerxes he would play Themistocles
    •  He's not in the role that Edgerton passed on, and nowhere in the article does it say that.
  • grimjob
    That's a bummer. I liked Santoro as Xerxes. I don't know anything about this guy, and have never seen Animal Kingdom. I was looking forward to some continuity, but looks like that won't happen. I hope he does a decent job.
    • Anonymous
      animal kingdom is a good movie - some might find it a little slow, tho. i agree on Santoro - he was outstanding as xerxes and should keep the role.
      • grimjob
        I'll check that out.
        • Redguy812
           yes, i agree. Xerxes was played to perfection by Santoro. why change? WHY?
  • WTF? He's white. The other guy was hispanic. This is horrible casting.
    •  Glad I'm not the only one who realizes this. Hollywood whitewashes everything
  • Anonymous
    deadline has it messed up he is not xerxes 
  • Xerxexx
    Need a trailer.
  • Boye Fajinmi
    dude Noam has some action in his commercials
  • Davodiehsan
    xerxes is very noble man.if american was humilate him doesnt matter but they must chose good person in his role.xerxes was in war with sparta and greek because they assault on persia. 2country greek and persia was in war with each other. both was great and powerful, both was brutal and enotmous, both had martyers, both has great fighters, both had great thinking man, both had great strategi but but but us humilate persia for iran 2012!!!! history dont have connection to our time! if had is very very little not 2500years ago! if holleywood can make stand in front of government they can picture what was realy was in that ancient time. both side deserve great honor not because of blood that they are spilitted but because of courage faith believe martyres in both legion. i love america a lot but dislike everyone that make insult to anyone.300was very good movie but can be very better very very very better
  • Johnny Neat
    That's it. This smells bad. By this I mean this movie. It's feeling like how The Dark Knight Returns was soiled by The Dark Knight Strikes Back. Just saying. I'll pass.
  • Deadline has since updated their story and we've added the new information in the article above!
    • grimjob
      That is good news! I hope Santoro comes back!
    • grimjob
      That is good news! I hope Santoro comes back!
  • Rain Spider
    Sweet, It'd be nice to see Sullivan in another main role. I enjoyed him in Strike Back, he was a badass. Although I didn't like how they made him portray the american soldier.
  • Katia
    Yes!!! Santoro!!!!




Alex's Top 10 - 2016
1. La La Land
2. Paterson
3. Arrival
4. Captain Fantastic
5. 20th Cent. Women
6. Pete's Dragon
7. Jackie
8. Kubo & Two Strings
9. Everybody Wants
10. Wilderpeople
Click Here for Thoughts

Jeremy's Top 10 - 2016
1. Moonlight
2. The Handmaiden
3. High-Rise
4. Elle
5. Arrival
6. Kubo & Two Strings
7. 13th
8. Jackie
9. Toni Erdmann
10. The Witch
Click Here for Thoughts


Subscribe to our feed or daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main profile on twitter:
For the news posts only, follow this acct:
Add our feed to your Feedly: follow us in feedly