While promoting “What to Expect when you’re Expecting” this weekend, actor Rodrigo Santoro spoke about returning as Xerxes for “300: Battle of Artemisia,” the sequel (or prequel) to the 2006 film.
Speaking with Collider, Santoro confirmed the shoot this summer and revealed more details about the film.
“We start shooting in July. They’re working on the very, well you never know, but last draft of the script. I think they’re calling it a spin-off because it’s not exactly a prequel, it’s not a sequel. It takes place in the same time, you start a little earlier but then you see that it’s like a different point of view, a different camera, a different angle. While that battle was happening, the one that you saw in 300, there was another battle happening next to it and you will have a chance to see all of that happening and how they interact. I don’t want to ruin it.”
Santoro is nearly unrecognizable as Xerxes, and the “Che: Part Two” says the transformation is very difficult.
“I’ve got to be honest, it’s a real hard process to get there, not only working out like crazy, [but also] shaving. I’ve got to shave all over my body. It’s a really intense, bizarre character, so it’s a lot of work to get there. Make-up: like five or six hours of make-up every day. When you see it, it looks cool, but there’s a lot of work behind it. That’s all very challenging and I’m looking forward to it. I hope it’s going to be great.”
Directed by Noam Murro, Eva Green (“Dark Shadows”) joins Santoro with Sullivan Stapleton, and Cullan Mulvey.
Green recently compared her role as Artemisia to a man, saying she’s a historical figure who ‘very ballsy’.
“300: Battle of Artemisia” is set for a August 2, 2012 release date.
A great synopsis of the storyline was published by Screen Rant late in 2011:
Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) is somewhat pushed into the bloody battle with the Greeks by the gold-covered maven goddess Artemisia. Artemisia, witnessing just how much his father King Darius’s death has affected him, persuades Xerxes – with her “vindictive charm” – to go into battle against those responsible.
Artemisia tells Xerxes that he has no choice but to avenge his father’s death and has to man up before becoming king. So, he sets off to become a God because that’s the only way he can win the battle.
Artemisia, on her hunt for a group of men to join Xerxes in the battle against the Greeks, doesn’t stop at brainwashing Xerxes. She also manages to convince Themistocles [ Stapleton] to side with her somewhat. Though the Persians took his family, and he’s spent ten years training the Greeks for battle, Artemisia has such an allure about her that the muscly Greek is taken. Ultimately, she convinces him that his life will be better off if he swaps sides. But this guy’s also as good a liar as he is a fighter.