Meet the heroes and villains in these new images and character descriptions for 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

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There may be no Gerard Butler and a well-oiled and well-abbed Spartan fighting machine in 300: Rise of An Empire, the sequel to Zack Snyder and Frank Miller’s 300, but what we do have is Sullivan Stapleton’s scraggly beard and the seemingly permanently mascara’d face of the villainous Eva Green. And thanks to some new images, character descriptions and plot synopsis we can now learn a little bit more about what makes them tick, and also about the return of a couple of the original film’s characters.

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This info/pic dump comes courtesy of the film’s official site (via CBM), where they’ve revealed a new official synopsis for the film that reveals that Mrs King Leonidas herself, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) will be returning for the sequel, along with Dilios (David Wenham), the Spartan warrior who narrates the tale of the first film to the audience, and who was last seen leading the Greeks into the final battle against the Persians.

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.

300: Rise of an Empire pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present, a Cruel and Unusual Films/Mark Canton/Gianni Nunnari Production, “300: Rise of an Empire.” The action adventure stars Sullivan Stapleton (Gangster Squad) as Themistokles and Eva Green (Dark Shadows, Casino Royale) as Artemisia.Lena Headey reprises her starring role from 300 as the Spartan Queen, Gorgo; Hans Matheson (Clash of the Titans) stars as Aeskylos; David Wenham returns as Dilios, andRodrigo Santoro stars again as the Persian King, Xerxes.

The film is directed by Noam Murro, from a screenplay by Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad, based on the graphic novel Xerxes, by Frank Miller.

Along with the synopsis a series of character images for both the main hero and villain of this tale, Themistokles (Stapleton) and Artemisia (Green) have been released, and just to prove that they also read books, we even get some Herodotus quotes just for good measure. First up, Themistokles:

Walking the line between savvy statesman and battle-hardened soldier, this Greek general has no illusions about what motivates men, kings or gods. He knows well how the game is played.

A master strategist, Themistokles holds an unflinching vision for the glory of Greece and will do whatever it takes to realize that vision—whether leading the charge on the battlefield or subtly working his influence behind the scenes.

Now, facing the onslaught of the massive Persian navy, he may be outnumbered but not out-maneuvered. Knowing there’s more at stake here than his life and the lives of his men, he will gamble everything on a daring plan that could seal the fate of Greece and the future of democracy.

Sullivan Stapleton takes on the nuanced role and describes Themistokles as a “people person,” just one of the many facets that make up this richly developed character—a man of wit and persuasive charm, as well as steely determination

And here’s the rather lovely looking (and waterlogged) Ms Green:

A woman commanding armies in a man’s world, this skilled and ruthless warrior—the real power behind Xerxes’ throne—knows that the rules have never applied to her. And never will. Meeting Themistokles head-on with the Persian armada, Artemisia will set the sea on fire, assaulting Greece not only for power and glory but for vengeance, the roots of which are known only to herself…and for which she is willing to sacrifice thousands and alter the fate of nations.

Bringing the volatile, vindictive and unapologetically ambitious warrior Artemisia to life is Eva Green, who says, “I love playing evil characters, but ones who are complex, and have a reason to behave in such a way… It’s always more interesting.”

300: Rise of an Empire will be invading cinemas on August 2, 2013.

Last Updated: April 22, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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