SHH Video Interview with 300: Rise of an Empire Director Noam Murro

The inspiration of Frank Miller’s distinctive art and storytelling style on the upcoming prequel/sequel 300: Rise of an Empire is fairly evident in every frame, but one of the more surprising aspects of the film may be who 300 director Zack Snyder and the other producers chose to direct it.

Noam Murro isn’t a director whose name might have jumped out at the fans of Zack Snyder’s movie when he was first announced to helm the movie. After all, he had only directed one other movie, a smart character comedy called Smart People, starring Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 before its release by Miramax. It wasn’t exactly the type of calling card one might expect of someone trying to get the gig directing a sequel to one of the more visually groundbreaking films of the past ten years.

While the story of King Leonidas and his 300 brave warriors may be over, there are more stories from those times to tell, and this one follows the Athenians, led by Themistokles, as played by Sullivan Stapleton, as they go up against the overwhelming Persian fleet commanded by Eva Green’s Artemesia. Fans of the first movie might also enjoy seeing the origin of Rodrigo Santoro’s Persian “God-King” Xerxes as well as Lena Headey’s Queen Gorgo in a more active role in the war.

SuperHeroHype was at the L.A. junket where we sat down with Murro for the following video interview in which we discussed:

* Whether he had a graphic novel or anything to work from while making “Rise of an Empire”

* What led the director of “Smart People” to want to direct a bloody battle epic

* Trying to visualize the film just from reading the script

* Researching the elaborate sea battles

* How they shot the whole film on green screen and created all the water using CG

* Approaching the CG for the movie and whether Zack’s research for the first movie made it easier

* The amount of CG blood spray

* The movie’s timeline and tying it into the first movie

* Developing Artemesia with Eva Green and why having a woman as the villain sets the movie apart

* How the movie’s no longer just Xerxes’ origin story

* How involved Frank Miller and Zack Snyder were with the movie

And lots more!

300: Rise of an Empire opens on Thursday night, March 6, in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters. Trust us, you’ll want to see this one in IMAX 3D.