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300: Rise of an Empire

by Brett White

Fans hoping that "300: Rise of an Empire," the sequel to Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Frank Miller's "300" graphic novel, would feature a lot more puffy clouds, family picnics, and hand-holding... you're out of luck. Granted, "Rise of an Empire" could include scenes of it's fierce, blood-thirsty warriors doing all of those things, it'll just be mixed in with "strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity, and some language."

For those reasons, the MPAA has granted the film an R rating. That makes sense, considering that the film's trailer was filled with shorter, sustained sequences of stylized and bloody violence, so fans can expect more of that. The events of "300: Rise of an Empire" take place concurrently with its predecessor, focusing on the boat brawls of the Battle of Artemisium instead of the Battle of Thermopylae.

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by Brett White

They may make being sea-faring warriors look easy, but the cast of "300: Rise of an Empire" put in a lot of work to bring audiences the "300" sequel they so craved. Film stars Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green and Rodrigo Santoro stopped by MTV News during San Diego's Comic-Con International to talk about the film... and their rigorous diets.

"I learned that I've got a six pack under there," says Stapleton. "We all have, if you train really hard and don't eat much. I thought it was [that] some men were genetically blessed with those kinds of bodies, and I thought I was maybe the other kind. It's not true." The actor called his action-ready bod a badge of honor, saying that every bicep you see on the big screen is all him. "It happened. It's there. You can see it, it happened."

Returning actor Rodrigo Santoro was happy to reprise his role as King Xerxes, but wasn't as ready to jump back into the extensive training regiment. "The whole diet, working out, and going back to that shape wasn't very exciting, but in a way I really enjoy playing this character."

The other potential hurdle for the cast had to be the green screen use, but Eva Green gave a tip on how to approach working with heavy-CGI scenes. "There's a story, and you have real actors around you," says Green. "For me, I take it like it's theater. You have to use lots of your imagination. At the beginning you're always a bit lost, I have to say, but it always helps to get pictures from the designer so that you know the world."

Check out the rest of the exclusive "300: Rise of an Empire" interview below for info about the film's unique relationship to its predecessor and more!

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Calisto 300

by Brett White

After remaining relatively mum during the first half of the summer, "300: Rise of an Empire" has started kicking up a fuss lately. On the heels of the Protosamurai character poster from last week comes two more, this time focusing on actual faces and not creepy close-up shots of metal masks.

The first character posters focus on Lena Headey's returning Queen Gorgo, and new character Calisto, played by Jack O'Connell. The images follow the same intense orange and blue color scheme and close-up style of the first poster, which means you can expect to see leading man Sullivan Stapleton looking like this at some point in the near future. But if you're desperate to take a trip to Stapletown, then check out the "300: Rise of an Empire" trailer. An no, I have no regrets about that last sentence.

Check out the full posters below.

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300

by Brett White

It's been a while since we last heard from "300: Rise of an Empire," not since the film's first full-length, ultra-"300"-y trailer debuted. But just to keep the delayed film on our minds while we anxiously await it's new 2014 release date, Warner Bros. Pictures has released another theatrical poster for the sequel.

The poster shows off a stylized - not to mention intimidating - mask with the phrase "FEAR US!" stamped next to it. Listen, "300: Rise of an Empire" poster, if you keep shoving that mask in my face, yeah, I'll fear you. It's a creepy mask.


Check out the enlarged poster after the jump!

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FROM MTV NEWS

Following the debut of "300: Rise of an Empire's" first trailer, MTV News got director Noam Murro on the phone to discuss his visually striking follow-up to Zack Snyder's groundbreaking original film. The director desired to expand upon the first film's visual vocabulary, which was a desire shared by producer Zack Snyder and the studio.

"I think that was the great thing about working with Zack and working with the studio. The idea was always to create a point of reference of the old movie, but technologically and visually push it further up the hill," he said. "It really is quite a difference in the way that it feels and looks. It does happen in water, and geographically, it is open. I think we've pushed it from a visual spectacle uphill, but the roots of this tree are grounded in the '300' world. We wanted to create different styles of battles, and there are very distinct ones in this movie. There's the fire battle and the fog battle."

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by Brett White

Despite losing director Zack Snyder, "300: Rise of an Empire" director Noam Murro looks to have turned in a film that matches the original's unique look, striking visuals, and penchant for slow-motion and ultra-revealing Spartan garb. People who wanted to see more "300" will indeed see more "300"! The film follows the 2007 adaptation of Dark Horse Comics' "300" by Frank Miller. Check out the trailer below.

The film stars returning actors Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro, as well as new leading man Sullivan Stapleton, and Eva Green. It looks like the film takes place concurrently with the first one, focusing on the Battle of Artemisium instead of the Battle of Thermopylae, which was the focus of the first film. The Battle of Artemisium was comprised of naval battles, hence the trailer's abundance of ships ramming into each other and bloody bodies falling into the ocean.

Yes, a lot of Wikipedia research went into this post.

What do you think of the first "300: Rise of an Empire" trailer? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!

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300: Rise of an Empire

So much for "300: Rise of an Empire" getting its time in the sun. Warner Bros. has delayed the movie once again, pushing it back all the way to March 7, 2014.

"Moving '300: Rise of an Empire' to March 7 continues in the tradition of the first '300,' and kicks off the Spring movie-going season in epic style. The film is on track to become all that audiences have come to expect from the franchise," Warner Bros. Pictures' President of Domestic Distribution says in a statement.

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Madness? This is not madness. These are Sparta's neighbors!

A first look at photos from "300: Rise of an Empire," the follow-up to Zack Snyder's "300," has gone online courtesy of USA Today, highlighting new leading man Sullivan Stapleton as Themistokles, the Greek general leading soldiers out to sea against the Persian army.

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The upcoming "300" film, "300: Rise of an Empire," is due out in eight months, and star Rodrigo Santoro says fans have a lot to look forward to. During a conversation with MTV News while promoting "The Last Stand," Santoro teased how "Rise of an Empire" will work alongside "300."

"They're calling it a spinoff. They don't call it a prequel or spinoff. It has bits of backstory and then you jump forward. There's bits of everything," he said. "Zack Snyder, who directed the first one, is producing and wrote this one. There's a new director, but I think that he had a pretty cool vision. They're still following the same patterns and the same language that was used in the first one."

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Gerard Butler turned down the "300" sequel, but that doesn't mean some of the old guard aren't returning.

One such actor is Rodrigo Santoro, who reprises the monstrous dictator Xerxes in next summer's "300: Rise of an Empire." Santoro spoke with Coming Soon about what it was like to get back into Xerxes' skin, how the movie differs from what fans saw in the first "300," and more.

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