When I see anyone, whether it be a stranger or my own grandmother, standing dangerously close to the top of a set of stairs or the edge of a ravine, I get a very specific urge. Contrary to what you might think, the urge is not to warn the person of imminent danger. It is, in fact, to do the opposite. As they stand there teetering on the edge of a devastating drop, I get an almost overwhelming urge to boot them in the chest and tell them our exact location. For example, if we were at the Grand Canyon and you were standing at the edge of the chasm admiring the view, in my mind the scene would play out like this:

You: This view is beautiful.

Me(looking thoughtful): Beautiful? (Dramatic thoughtful pause) This...is...the Grand Canyon!

Then I would front kick you into the Grand Canyon.

Or maybe if we were in my backyard...

You: I can't believe you don't have a guard railing on your deck. That's pretty stupid.

Me(looking thoughtful): Stupid? (Dramatic thoughtful pause) This...is...the backyard!

Then I would front kick you off of my back deck.

It has nothing to do with you personally. I probably like you, at least enough to go to the Grand Canyon with you, or let you into my backyard. It's just that Gerard Butler made it look too damn awesome to kick someone in the chest into some kind of abyss. Moments like that are what makes 300 one of my all-time favorites.

So imagine the pants-peeing fit that ensued when I read that the creator of the 300 comic, Frank Miller, is releasing the prequel comic to 300 next year. The six part series, entitled Xerxes, already has production companies interested, as well as 300 director Zack Snyder.

Although I'm interested in the prospect of another film, there is something that sits funny with me about this 300 prequel. The story will be centered on the title character, Xerxes, but...aren't we supposed to hate that guy? He killed our beloved Spartans; should we want to see him do anything but get his ass kicked by the Greeks? I will admit that there is something attractive about finding out how a man turns into a ruthless, slave driving ruler; origin stories are some of the most interesting parts of just about any comic, or any longer narrative for that matter. But, 300 was engaging because of the heroism of the Spartans and their crazy warrior society.

The 300 saga seems to be going to the Star Wars route by creating a prequel in which we find out how the villain (Darth Vader in that case) came to be. At least in the Star Wars prequels, we still got the heroic Jedi in the mix. In Xerxes, as far as logical continuity goes, we probably won't be getting any Spartans, let alone Leonidas. I would think that would be one of the benefits of creating a prequel: getting to use dead characters for a new story.

The bottom line is that it could be weird without the Spartans.

But I suppose in the comic world, if anyone knows what they're doing, it's Frank Miller. Miller is responsible for Sin City and 300, as well as many other well respected comics. His 1986 comic, The Dark Knight Returns, is responsible for the current darker rendition of Batman in the Batman movie franchise (excluding Schumacher's Batman Forever and Batman and Robin). Aside from his ill-advised attempt at directing The Spirit, Frank Miller can almost do no wrong.

What do you think? Is Xerxes a character that you'd like to see explored further? Would you see a 300 movie without Gerard Butler's Leonidas?


Source: Screenrant
6/3/2010 08:44:36 am

Wow great post. I actually think a Xerxes film is a cool idea.


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