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: Casting, Development, Movie News



if he is in the role joel edgerton passed on he is not xerxes he would play Themistocles

Anonymous on Feb 8, 2012


 He's not in the role that Edgerton passed on, and nowhere in the article does it say that.

Ethan Anderton on Feb 8, 2012


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.

grimjob on Feb 8, 2012


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.

Anonymous on Feb 8, 2012


I'll check that out.

grimjob on Feb 9, 2012


 yes, i agree. Xerxes was played to perfection by Santoro. why change? WHY?

Redguy812 on Feb 9, 2012


WTF? He's white. The other guy was hispanic. This is horrible casting.

M.K. Nielsen on Feb 8, 2012


 Glad I'm not the only one who realizes this. Hollywood whitewashes everything

Yves on Feb 9, 2012


deadline has it messed up he is not xerxes 

Anonymous on Feb 8, 2012


Need a trailer.

Xerxexx on Feb 8, 2012


dude Noam has some action in his commercials

Boye Fajinmi on Feb 8, 2012


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

Davodiehsan on Feb 9, 2012


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.

Johnny Neat on Feb 9, 2012


Deadline has since updated their story and we've added the new information in the article above!

Ethan Anderton on Feb 9, 2012


That is good news! I hope Santoro comes back!

grimjob on Feb 9, 2012


That is good news! I hope Santoro comes back!

grimjob on Feb 9, 2012


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.

Rain Spider on Feb 9, 2012


Yes!!! Santoro!!!!

Katia on Jan 15, 2013

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