Preparing for glory


The traditional sword-and-sandal epic got an extreme makeover Monday as Warner Bros. Pictures premiered "300" -- the stylish retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae fought between Spartans and Persians -- at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The Zack Snyder-directed film, based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, shows the Spartans as a hardy lot who threw out unfit newborns over cliffs and trained vigorously for battle, but at the Roosevelt Hotel afterparty in Hollywood, Snyder admitted he didn't have what it takes to be one: "I'm a potter or a sculptor. If we want to be brutally honest with ourselves, we are not Spartans. But it's fun to watch them."

The film's David Wenham sculpted his body for months in preparation for the movie but, alas, has since lost some of his form.

"I used to have a six-pack, I now have a one-pack," he said. "But the great thing is that even though none of us have kept up the regime, we can always look back at this film and say, 'We used to look like that once upon a time.'"

Sitting in a Grecian-style cabana surrounded by an entourage, Miller enjoyed attention rarely accorded to comic book creators. Miller, who also saw his "Sin City" adapted for the big screen in 2005, said the reason for his success is because Hollywood has been "extremely faithful to the source material, which has not always been the case."