Zack Snyder Says 'Xerxes' Is Not A Sequel Nor Prequel To '300'

'It parallels '300' in a really cool way,' writer/director explains at San Diego Comic-Con.

SAN DIEGO — Talk of sequels, prequels and spin-offs have circulated on the Internet ever since "300" cleaned up at the box office in 2006. Director Zack Snyder, at San Diego Comic-Con promoting his upcoming "Sucker Punch," told MTV News that he has begun co-writing a script based on Frank Miller's "Xerxes," which it sounds like he'll direct, as well.

"Kurt [Johnstad] and I are writing it right now, using Frank's graphic novel that he's creating as our spine, as our jumping-off point, as our Bible," said Snyder.

Dark Horse Comics will begin publishing the new Miller comics later this year. The story focuses on Greek leader Themistocles and, of course, another grand battle against tough odds.

"Frank came up with a cool story. It parallels '300' in a really cool way. Instead of it being a sequel or a prequel ... the battle that it sort of chronicles takes place on the exact same three days as [the battle depicted in '300'], so it is kind of [parallel], so that's kind of cool."

A high-octane epic (very loosely) based on a real-life swords-and-sandals battle between Persians and Spartans, "300" was remarkable for its extremely muscular heroes, highly stylized visuals and star-making casting choice of Gerard Butler as Spartan leader Leonidas. While it's certain that "Xerxes" will feature buff dudes, will the stylized visuals return? How about Butler?

"Yeah I think so," Snyder reported on the style. "I can't imagine that you would need to reinvent it. It's based on Frank's drawings, which are very much like '300.' I'd say that you'd kind of stay in that world." And as for Butler? "I gotta talk to him! It would be awesome. He's great."

Snyder isn't officially confirmed to direct, but he did tell us that "all things being equal — script comes together, everyone's schedules, blah, blah, blah," he'll be there.

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