Warner Bros. Offers Helm of Xerxes Adaptation to Guy Ritchie
02.16.11 by BJSprecher
In a surprising turn of events, Vulture has revealed that Warner Bros. (WB) has pulled the highly-anticipated sequel to 300 from 300 and Watchmen director Zack Snyder and offered the directing duties to Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie. The sequel, titled Xerxes after the Persian king (played by Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro) who harried King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his Spartans in the first movie, will be adapted from an as-yet-unfinished graphic novel from creator Frank Miller and take place take place concurrently with the events depicted in 300.
Snyder not only made a hefty chunk of change for WB with 300, but he also earned tremendous nerd-cred from hyper-critical comic book movie fans because of his impressive—and frequently copied—visual style and how closely he stuck to Miller's original graphic novel. So, why would WB give Snyder the boot? It's unclear at this time, but Vulture posits that WB might want Snyder to drop all other priorities and focus on getting his Superman reboot off of the ground:
Insiders say the closely-guarded script for Superman suffers from major third-act problems, and the studio faces a ticking clock on that franchise, legally speaking; if a Superman film isn’t in production by 2013, Warner Bros. loses the rights to the entire Superman franchise and would have to re-license it from its original creators—the estates of Detective Comics writers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster—at great if not prohibitive expense.