Even though many can’t fathom this, the massive blockbuster success of “300” was not something anyone could have predicted. One of the reasons the film was something of a risk was its then-unknown cast: a lot rested on the shoulders of an unproven Gerard Butler, then known as the star of a series of terrible mid-level films, as opposed to being the current face of about a dozen truly awful big studio movies. Now that he’s something of a familiar face, the producers of “300: Battle Of Artemisia” aren’t letting a good thing go to waste.
Producer Bernie Goldmann confirms, “It’s a different story. [However] there’s a small part for Lena [Headey]. There’s a small part for Gerry [Butler].” It makes sense that they would use King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo to add a level of familiarity to what’s sure to be something of a different story from “300.” Though, if Goldmann had it his way, he’d probably load the film with all sorts of stars, as, without naming names, he claims they tried to make the original with bigger names who all turned the project down (probably John Goodman). Though this comes after he champions unknowns for the leads in ‘Artemisia,’ claiming he can’t tell the difference between Tom Cruise and a character that Tom Cruise plays. Basically, Bernie Goldmann is a little stupid.
While we’re not up on our history of this time period, the original played fast and loose with the facts so, given that this is a prequel, it probably isn’t too crazy to expect to see Leonidas and Gorgo shoehorned into the narrative in a small way (though it will be weird to see Leonidas significantly puffier and less intimidating). This may amount to a couple of three-minute cameos, at best, though we get an “Expendables” vibe from this, with Butler and Headey no doubt showing up in the trailers a la Willis and Schwarzenegger, promising much bigger roles than they will probably be playing. “300: Battle Of Artemisia” is set for release sometime in 2013.