There's still a year before "300: Rise of an Empire" hits theaters nationwide, but Warner Bros. Pictures already builds anticipation for the movie by releasing the first trailer. As dark as the predecessor, the "300" sequel has a lot of bloody war scenes as hinted by the sneak-peek video.
Lena Headey's Queen Gorgo appears in the beginning of the snippet, giving a prep talk about freedom and vengeance in what seems to be the aftermath of the ultimate battle in "300". Xerxes, declaring that nothing can't stop the march of his empire, dispatches the fierce and vengeful commander Artemisia to attack the Greeks with her army.
Epic battles on land and in sea are unavoidable as the Greeks, led by the ambitious general and politician Themistokles, fight against the massive invading Persian forces. "They will pay," Themistokles says amidst the footage showing destruction caused by Artemisia and her army.
Based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel Xerxes, "300: Rise of an Empire" "takes place at about the same time of the first one," but in a larger scale, director Noam Murro says. He explains, "This is a much larger palette, historically and geographically. It is larger in scale, and it takes place on water."
Murro also points out that the new hero, Themistocles, and the new villain, Artemisia, are the central characters in his movie. "Those two characters are at the heart of this movie and are really driving it... You'll feel Xerxes' presence, but it's really Themistocles and Artemisia's movie," he tells MTV News.
Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green are cast as Themistocles and Artemisia respectively, with Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro reprising their roles as the Spartan Queen, Gorgo, and the Persian King, Xerxes. Hans Matheson and David Wenham also star in the action movie, which U.S. release date is pushed back from August 2 this year to July 3, 2014.