In what would be a surprise move, Warner Bros. has allegedly offered the job of director on Xerxes to Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes). Vulture makes the claim, saying that Ritchie has been asked to helm the 300 follow-up.
Based on an upcoming comic book from 300 creator Frank Miller, Xerxes is said to tell of the history of the "King of Kings" and his rise to power in fifth-century-BC Persia. Supposedly beginning about ten years before 300, the prequel would also offer an opportunity for Gerard Butler to reprise his role as Leonidas.
The reasoning behind not having Snyder return to the director’s chair is currently open to debate, though Vulture posits some suspicions. What is known is that the Watchmen and Sucker Punch director is currently prepping for another major Warner Bros. comic book property, Superman, set for release in December of 2012.
UPDATE: A rep for Guy Ritchie tells Entertainment Weekly that he has not been offered the director job.