'300' Sequel Eyes Joel Edgerton As Lead

Joel Edgerton

"300" ended with the death of King Leonidas, so when the sequel to Zack Snyder's swords-and-sandals epic finally gets underway, we're going to be in need of a new lead—even if there is a small role for Gerard Butler, should he choose to accept it.

But with or without Butler, "300: Battle of Artemisia" has set its sights on a brand new lead actor: none other than Joel Edgerton, most recently seen in "Warrior" and "The Thing."

According to Vulture, Edgerton is in talks with Warner Bros. to top-line director Noam Murro's sequel to "300," based on the forthcoming graphic novel from writer and artist Frank Miller. If talks firm up into something more concrete, Edgerton would be starring in the "300" follow-up as Themosticles, "the famed archon and general who led the Greeks to victory against the invading Persians in 480 BCE." He might not be Leonidas, but Themosticles still has plenty of opportunities to kick some ass.

Edgerton landing "Battle of Artemisia" would be a big get for the Australian actor, who has already found a lot to do in recent months. Aside from starring opposite future "Dark Knight Rises" villain Tom Hardy in "Warrior" and going back to the arctic for a prequel to John Carpenter's "The Thing" earlier this year, Edgerton's latest achievements include a starring role in "The Great Gatsby" as drunk cad Tom Buchanan and a considerably more secretive part to play in "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden picture. Breaking into the comic book scene with the "300" sequel sounds to me like a great next move for Edgerton.

If nothing else, it's certainly a few steps up from what he used to be most famous for: playing a young Uncle Owen in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy.

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