300 Set Visit Preview

In 1998, after five years writing and drawing “Sin City”, Frank Miller decided to do something different, releasing the mini-series 300 about a little known battle between a small band of Spartan warriors and the vast and powerful Persian army. The lesser-known project inspired by historic books like William Golding’s “The Hot Gates” and Ernie Bradford’s “Thermopylae: The Battle for the West,” was optioned for a movie but lay dormant for years until the success last year of the movie Sin City, co-directed by Miller with Robert Rodriguez.

Now, the film is back underway, being filmed by director Zack Snyder, best known for his 2004 remake of George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead,” for release by Warner Bros. in 2007. It stars Gerard Butler, last seen as the title character in “The Phantom of the Opera,” as King Leonidas, who leads the Spartans on to war, Lena Heady (“The Brothers Grimm”) as his wife, and David Wenham from “The Lord of the Rings”.

Warner Bros. recently invited ComingSoon.net/SuperheroHype.com to tour the Montreal soundstages where Snyder was filming the movie. Although the entire movie was shot in front of a green screen with computers being used to create the environments in post-production, the process was more involved than one might expect with the production team constructing hundreds of swords, shields, realistic period costumes, 3-dimensional construct landscapes and a lot of very real-looking corpses. They’ve also expanded a bit on Miller’s original story adding a few new characters, although they’ve been hellbent on recreating the look and feel of Miller’s distinctive art style, as well as the limited color palette used by his regular colorist Lynn Varley. As a matter of fact, some of the still photos we were shown, while still works in progress, looked like they could have been panels taken directly from Miller’s graphic novel.

While on set, we had a chance to speak to creator Frank Miller, who was visiting the set for the first time himself, director Zack Snyder, actor Gerard Butler, production designer Jim Bissell, a few of the producers, and a guy named Mark Twight, the trainer responsible for the cast’s unconventional training regiment that has to be seen to be believed. Although the film is being prepared for release in the summer of 2007, we’ll share some of our inside look at the making of this epic film before then, like to explain what is commonly referred to on the set as “The Crush.”

In the meantime, you can get an early look at what we saw by checking out the film’s official Production Blog at the official website, and stay tuned to SuperheroHype.com this week for an exclusive sneak peek.

Source: Edward Douglas