Finally! Details on Frank Miller’s 300 prequel, XERXES, emerge

John Mulhern

by: John Mulhern
June 2nd, 2010

It would be hard to forget the pierced evil menace Xerxes from Frank Miller and Zach Snyder's hit film 300. Everybody loves Xerxes! Which is exactly why Frank Miller is hard at work making a prequel graphic novel to 300 where Xerx (yeah, we're calling him that now), will be the backbone. Finally some details are coming out, and we're getting an idea as to what the project will be.

Despite many people's expectations, the graphic novel won't actually follow Xerxes per se, instead it will focus on his rise to godhood through the eyes of another character. This is what Frank Miller had to say about it:

"The time frame begins 10 years before '300' and the story starts with the Battle of Marathon, which was killer to draw, by the way, even if it was a lot of work. The lead character is Themistocles who became warlord of Greece and built their navy. The story is very different than '300' in that it involves Xerxes search for godhood. The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he well on his way to godhood by the end of the story. With Themistocles I have a character who is almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure. He was nicknamed 'The Subtle Serpent' and he always manages to do the exact right things that will result in him benefiting greatly."

It sounds like an interesting way to take the story. From the explanation of Themistocles, I could imagine a twisted and very intriguing story. Characters who have lying and conniving in their character descriptions are almost always interesting to explore. Especially in the setting of 300, it will be really cool to figure out Themistocles' motivations.

Frank was also asked for other details of the project, where he began talking about how he feels he stepped things up:

"The story will be the same heft as '300' but it cover a much, much greater span of time -- it's 10 years, not three days. This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in '300' were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it's a sweeping tale with gods and warriors."

Vast really is the best way to describe the scope of this story, and it sounds like they are really trying to take the formula from the original and step it up. If all goes as planned this could be a worthy prequel to the original.

It didn't stop there though, we have to give props to Dark Horse comics who put out the first image from the graphic novel. Here it is in all it's shiny golden piercing filled glory.

I'm almost positive that if the graphic novel is well received, it will lead up to a film adaptation. Miller says he has no interest in directing or co-directing the film, but word on the street is that 300 director Zach Snyder is interested if the story ends up being good. At this point it is just a waiting game, but I have a sneaking suspicion this won't be the last time we hear about this project.

Source: LA Times (interview), Dark Horse (Image), via Joblo

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