February 08, 2012 3:39pm PT by Borys Kit
'Animal Kingdom' Actor to Star in '300' Follow-Up
Sullivan Stapleton, who appeared in the 2010 Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom, will star in the untitled 300 follow-up in development at Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.
A source close to the project confirms the casting, which follows THR's report that Eva Green will play Artemisia in the movie that was previously titled 300: Battle of Artemisia. Noam Murro (Smart People) is directing.
The follow-up to 2006's Gerard Butler action pic 300 sees the Persian king-turned-god Xerxes lead an army against Greek forces, who have little training but are under the guidance of a general named Themistokles. (The giant battle at the center of this movie is supposed to occur at the same time as the fighting in 300.)
Stapleton will play Themistokles. The actor, who had a supporting role in Animal Kingdom, also will appear in Warner Bros.' upcoming Gangster Squad.
The studio is hoping to start production soon. Mark Canton, Gianni Nunnari, Bernie Goldmann, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Thomas Tull are producing.
Frank Miller, who authored the graphic novel that formed the basis of 300, is writing a new chapter focused on Xerxes, but it's unclear if the movie will follow the path of that source material.
Stapleton is repped by WME and Australia's United Management.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said Stapleton would play Xerxes.