300 2

Warner Bros's upcoming "300" sequel finally has a release date.

The film is set to debut on August 2, 2013, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The late-summer choice is interesting placement for the film, as it's typically relegated for the dregs of the summer blockbuster movie line-up. Then again, 2013 doesn't have as intense of a line-up as 2012 does, and Warner likely wants to spread out their summer releases since they gave "The Hangover Part III" a May 24 release and "Pacific Rim" a July 12 one.

Still, the new "300" could have bowed earlier in the year like its predecessor did. "300" was released on March 9, 2007, and the surprise hit went on to make $456 worldwide. But now its sequel is up against some pretty stiff competition in the comic book film department.

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"Sin City 2" could finally begin production this summer, Robert Rodriguez says — but if that's the plan, it's the first that would-be leading man Clive Owen has heard of it.

Owen, who starred in the original "Sin City" as photographer and mystery man Dwight McCarthy, recently told MTV News that his future with the Frank Miller graphic novel series remains the same as it's ever been: entirely unclear.

"No, I don't know where that's at, really," Owen told MTV News at the press junket for "Intruders," his new thriller from Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (formerly of "The Crow.") "They've been talking about 'Sin City 2' since we did the first one however many years ago."

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You wouldn’t expect "300" to lend itself easily to a sequel, since all of the relevant characters are pretty much dead by the end (spoilers!). But there were events happening before and during the Battle of Thermopylae, which is why the concept is being revisited in "300: Battle of Artemisia," a prequel/sequel/??? with a release date in the vague future. It’ll supposedly be about an Athenian hero taking on the Persian king Xerxes, sort of in the way that "300" was about a Spartan hero taking on the same guy.

There will be at least one constant between the two: actor Rodrigo Santoro, who played Xerxes in "300" and is in talks to reprise his role in "Battle of Artemisia." Speaking to Omelete, Santoro discussed his involvement with the movie and its premise.

"The movie is set at the same time," Santoro said. "The idea is to show another point of view. While that battle from the first ‘300’ is taking place, there were others going on. Actually, it’s all of this and then there is an intersection point with the first movie. It goes back and then goes beyond that. That was the initial concept."

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Not every Frank Miller-related sequel must move forward so slowly: "300: Battle of Artemisia" has just hired one of its co-leads in Jamie Blackley, who will star alongside Sullivan Stapleton.

"Blackley will play Calisto, a teen whose desire to become the heroic man/soldier his father was leads the 16-year-old to become a leader of a small band of soldiers," reports Deadline.

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Though one star of "Animal Kingdom," Joel Edgerton, turned down the lead role in the sequel to Zack Snyder's "300," one of his co-stars, Sullivan Stapleton, has taken his place.

Deadline is reporting that Stapleton will play the Greek warlord Themistocles in "300: The Battle of Artemisia."

The role of Themistocles was originally offered to Edgerton, who turned down the role last November while being approached for several other parts.

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Ryan Reynolds. "Deadpool." We want it to happen. It has to happen. But every year we move away from "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," the less and less hopeful we get that we'll actually get to see Reynolds crack wise as the Merc with the Mouth.

Luckily, Reynolds himself remains optimistic about the film's eventual prospects. Speaking with MTV News at the press junket for "Safe House," Reynolds revealed that "the script is there [for 'Deadpool'], everything just comes down to budget and time."

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Batman

Batman gets some awesome new credits. "The Goon" may or may not be in a little bit of a pickle. And even if you're pining for the days of Tobey Maguire and fearful of the incoming Andrew Garfield era, never fear — Stan Lee is here to cool your jets.

Strap on your Tights and get all of today's comic book mini-news beyond the break!

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We’d write that David Fincher is having a big year, but it seems like he’s been in permanent kill mode for a while. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" comes out tomorrow, and it’s sure to sweep box offices if not critical year-end lists. He’s also got plenty of projects in the distant future, including a Disney adaptation of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and “House of Cards," the first original television show for Netflix.

But there’s another project that comic fans would like to see him tackle as soon as possible: Eric Powell’s “The Goon," that irascible thug with the lead pipe. When talking to MTV News, Fincher revealed that the animated film is still in development, although it might be a while.

“We're still trying. Eric rewrote his script," he said. “He got away from the genesis story, and I feel like we need to go back to a little bit of what he had before."

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Eva Green

"300: Battle of Artemisia" -- or "300: The Battle of Artemisium" for some -- is finally close to finding its leading lady.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that "Casino Royale" starlet Eva Green has entered into negotiations to play the titular goddess. Last we heard, Artemisia is the central character of the "300" prequel and was the main role director Noam Murro was looking to cast. She is the character who will pull the strings of the story, including manipulating Xerxes (rumored to be played by Rodrigo Santoro) and Themosticles.

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Sin CityIf you follow the little news that trickles out from time to time on "Sin City 2," you've probably gotten used to hearing the same things. Robert Rodriguez says the script is halfway done, then Frank Miller says the script is halfway done. Robert Rodriguez says it's almost done, then Frank Miller says it's almost done and that he hates Occupy Wall Street. Things have become cyclical.

The one piece of news from that camp that offered any new or different information came down the line back in August. The Academy Award-winning screenwriter behind "The Departed," William Monahan, was going to take a crack at the screenplay.

Up until that point, the project had been very much the child of Rodriguez and Frank Miller. Adding Monahan to the mix was simultaneously unexpected and perhaps a sign of hope that progress was actually being made.

Indiewire spoke with Rodriguez while he was promoting the DVD for "Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World" and asked the director where the project stands and what Monahan had to do with the script.

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Cover Artist

Splash Page welcomes Ed Tadem to our cover artist family (our custom-designed theme up top). Currently working on the forthcoming "Avengers" animated series, Tadem's work can also be seen in the "Jackie Karma" issues of Image's "'76," and in "Pop Gun, Volume 1." Ed Tadem can be found online at EdTadem.com.
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