Part 3 of the Warner Brothers panel continues with 300: Rise of an Empire, the sequel to 300, which was directed by Zack Snyder. In this panel, we learn that this movie continues where the previous movie left off, and Sparta is out for revenge with the Persians. We get a special treat before the 300 panel starts however. Lets get into it!
Chris Hardwick is about to begin the 300: Rise of an Empire panel, but he is interrupted on his cell phone. Doesn’t he know he is working right now? It turns out this is an important call however, as he is told to give an exclusive teaser for something that isn’t 300: Rise of an Empire. We aren’t told what it is, but footage starts, and we see a knight (who looks to be Matthew McConaughey possibly) of some sort, in a desert, examining the remains of another knight. I have thoughts as to what the movie could be, but not until the soldier picks up the slain knight’s shield do I have confirmation. The scene finishes with an Orc and the Knight squaring off for battle. Then it is revealed. The biggest MMORPG ever will be getting its own movie. Still lost?
Well, it is titled Warcraft. The movie will be directed by Duncan Jones, and looks to have a 2015 release date. It appears to be live action, although the scenery and orc seemed a little cartoony. This may be just because the textures and such for the CGI had not been finished yet. Thomas Hall comes out and talks about the film, introducing Duncan Jones as the director. Hardwick asks Duncan Jones, known for Moon, about his thoughts on directing Warcraft. He discusses how fun it will be to create a world (although the world technically already exists in video form, so he won’t be creating a world). There wasn’t much more information beyond this however, and it was a relatively short interview.
Chris Hardwick then moves right into 300: Rise of an Empire. Chris Hardwick begins with a clip of the movie. Lena Headey seems to narrate the clip, and discusses the Spartans’ revenge, and provides the history of Xerxes’ rise to power. The clip finishes up with some massive battle scenes from the film.
The panelists for 300: Rise of an Empire are then brought out. First to be introduced is Noam Murro, the director of the film, followed by actors Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes, Eva Green as Artemisia, and Sullivan Stapleton as Themistocles.
Chris Hardwick asks Noam about storyline. He reveals that it takes places at about the same time as 300, but on a grander scale. Rodrigo talks about his return as Xerxes, and the fun he had playing it. He also discusses the history of his character, and how he enjoys that part of his character in this film.
Eva Green talks about her character as well. We learn that she was a Greek woman, and learn her history as a vengeful woman.
Hardwick asks if Rodrigo was comfortable being hairless and naked for his role as Xerxes, and he immediately answers, “Yes”. He reveals he had to watch his eating and work out a lot, to keep the “god-like” physique. He explains that his character is trying to fulfill his father’s wishes.
The director then discusses working with Zack Snyder, who has returned as producer of this film. Noam seemed happy to work with Snyder, describing it, “as good as it gets”. He explains Snyder would provide input, but step back, allowing Noam to make his own film.
The panel then moves to audience questions. The first asks where it ties in with the 300 series. This was basically already answered in the beginning of the panel. The audience has a good laugh at his expense.
Hardwick asks about how far along they are in finishing the film. He says shooting is done, but there is a lot of work to still be done. The film is revealed as all green screen. Noam Murro seems done with green for a while, as he explains that he tossed all green stuff in his house.
Sullivan, who plays Themistocles, talks about the rig that was built for the movie to mimic ship movement. Hardwick then asks Eva how she handles acting when the environment is all green screen. She talks about using her imagination and how working with the other actors is about all they can do. She talks about some “movie magic”, where in order to portray Xerxes as so tall, she had to talk to a tennis ball on a stick.
Noam is then asked about how close the artistic style of 300 will appear in the new film. He seems that he feels they have done it “successfully”. He says that this is a different film though, because it takes place on water, which adds some other factors Noam indicates.
The panel finishes with Noam and Hardwick discussing some of the naval battles that had to be directed, and the difficulties of that. The panel wraps up though, and we move on to Gravity, the film directed by Alfonso Cuaron.
Here is a trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire if you haven’t seen it yet: