Guy Ritchie to Replace Zack Snyder on ‘Xerxes’

This adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel will take place during the same timeframe as the events of ‘300’.

Guy Ritchie may direct Xerxes for Warner Bros.
Guy Ritchie may direct Xerxes for Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. has an offer out for Guy Ritchie to direct Xerxes, the 300 companion piece which most believed Zack Snyder would direct.

We reported back in October that Zack Snyder is directing Superman for Warner Bros. There is speculation that the Superman script needs more work, especially in the third act. It is also rumored that Zack Snyder's latest movie Sucker Punch is testing poorly, which may be why the studio is offering Xerxes to another director.

Regardless of the speculation, it seems the studio wants to start both Superman and Xerxes around the same time, making it impossible for Zack Snyder to direct both projects.

The last we heard on Xerxes was back in September, when Zack Snyder revealed he was halfway done with the script. We also reported in July that Zack Snyder is writing that script along with Kurt Johnstad. Here is what Zack Snyder said about the plot to Xerxes, which he called neither a prequel or a sequel to 300.

"This movie follows Themistocles and the Battle of Artemisium, which coincidentally happens on the exact same three days as the Battle of Thermopylae [which was the basis of 300]. This one starts off with a quick retelling of the why of the Persian wars. It starts off at the Battle of Marathon and then it goes back to Themistocles finding out that Persians are invading again. and off we go over to learn a little bit about why Xerxes is the way he is."

It isn't clear when production on Xerxes will start, but with this offer out to Guy Ritchie, it looks like the movie could start up sooner than expected.

300: Rise of an Empire was released March 7th, 2014 and stars Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Jack O'Connell. The film is directed by Noam Murro.

Sources: Vulture
Tags: 300

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Comments (25)

  1. RojoDiablo

    Yeah, I actually thought SH was one of his weakest films even though I still enjoyed it. Ritchie usually does his best work with the gangster flicks obviously but he just might surprise ya with Xerxes. I mean if the studio just will not wait and it's got to be Ritchie, I'm good with it.

    4 years agoby @rojodiabloFlag

  2. Brandon S. Todd

    I am not so sure that Ritchie could pull off a Miller-esque Graphic Novel centering around Xerxes. I really enjoyed Snyder's take on 300, and I would certainly enjoy his further direction on the Graphic Novel style film.

    4 years agoby @brandon-scott-toddFlag

  3. Shervg

    Maybe Guy Richie will be more historically acurate instead of having black persians & Xerxes at the battle of Marathon when he was only 10!! But Zack Snyder's style is perfect for Xerxes.

    4 years agoby @shervgFlag

  4. Goku_ssj2

    Jason Statham for Xerxes hahaha

    4 years agoby @goku-ssj2Flag

  5. incmob

    wow... this feels like "a bryan singer" all over lands superman, loses out on a film because of it that essentially put him on the map... i like guy ritchie but i dont think he has the right style to make Xerxes

    4 years agoby @incmobFlag

  6. ejk1

    @fanboy I thought they were planning on a late summer release as of a few weeks ago, but if they changed it, fine. If they have to change it again, that may be even better.

    4 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  7. fanboy

    "Sucker Punch is testing poorly" what does that even mean? I don't think anybody can really replace Snyder for a movie like Xerxes after what he did in 300, but if he had to be replaced Ritchie isn't a bad choice but like others have said it doesn't seen like his type of movie.

    @ejk1 I heard Superman was coming out in December 2012

    4 years agoby @fanboyFlag

  8. ejk1

    I couldn't care less about these tests of SP, simply because the test subjects could be anyone.

    As for Xerxes, I agree with @narrator. It isn't necessary.

    Superman is a different, and much larger problem. They need to get off this insane idea of piggybacking off the almost certain success of TDKR, and move Superman back to 2013, or at least Thanksgiving 2012. Take your time, and give us something worthwhile guys.

    4 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  9. the Narrator

    Richie did great with both Rock 'N Rolla and Snatch. He's had a few decent films, and a few bad ones. But his three films that I enjoyed definitely make up for the few misses of his that I've seen.

    4 years agoby @narratorFlag

  10. Josh

    Please. It's not like 300 was a classic by any means. If Guy Richie wants to try his hand at this movie, I'd have no problem with it.

    4 years agoby @shuabertFlag

  11. Messenger


    Come on man, G.R. has plenty of good films. S.H. was to me, his weakest.

    4 years agoby @messengerFlag

  12. Bawnian©-Dexeus


    With that outburst aside, screw it, shelve Xerxes until Snyder has an open schedule. IMO only this man can work that wondrous CGI of his perfectly with the style of 300 to this film, and no one else. as for Sucker Punch, nonsense, it is gonna be hellafun!!!

    4 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  13. Daveactor7

    No. Please no. Guy Ritchie did not impress me with any of his works. His only decent flick? Sherlock Holmes

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  14. the Narrator

    I'm not gonna buy anything until it's officially stated. I'm still holding on for SP. I think it'll shock those with low expectations, impress those with good expectations, and still please those with high expectations, entertainment -wise. The saying, "You'll be unprepared," is a big thing to claim, hence the films extravagant title. WB wouldn't green-light such a huge project, if there was a marginal change of it failing. Even Watchmen, though it under-produced, made them profit in the long run (merchandise, dvd sales, etc). So yeah, not buying the whole testing poorly thing just yet.

    As for Ritchie doing this, I say why is this film necessary at all? Answer: it's not. Ritchie needs to focus on Sherlock Holmes 2, and The Real Rock'NRolla. That's all he needs to be thinking about at the moment.

    As for Superman, I don't buy the whole re-writes thing... wait, Goyer is writing it, so I sort of do. Still, I doubt it's anything solid, or substantial. :P

    4 years agoby @narratorFlag

  15. Cripple

    Well this is interesting.

    4 years agoby @crippleFlag

  16. MovieManiac

    I searched up the news about Sucker Punch being tested poorly and I could not find anything. I will just resserve my judgement until i see the movie. Besides, i really do not care if a couple of people did not enjoy the film. As long as I enjoy it, I will be fine.

    4 years agoby @moviemaniac66Flag

  17. Tha Phoenix


    Complete cosign. When Guy is good, he's really good (Sherlock Holmes), but when's he's bad.... Still, all hope isn't lost.

    4 years agoby @thaphoenixFlag

  18. Nburgmei

    @dan1 This really is all sorts of bad news. The worst being the poor testing of SP. Hopefully the rumors are just rumors.

    4 years agoby @nburgmeiFlag

  19. moviegeek

    I have a feeling that Sucker Punch will be liked, but it won't be "wow" enough to be loved. The sort of film that gets a 60% on RT. "testing poorly" is a lousy speculation however.

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  20. ZanyZap

    And in Snyder we... well, he's working with Nolan so... :P

    4 years agoby @zanyzapFlag

  21. ZanyZap

    I'll see Sucker Punch, but I wasn't hoping for a great movie. And Ritchie is an acceptable replacement for Snyder, I think... I'm not worried about the success of SP or Xerxes, because I could care less about either. The bit about Superman's third act needing more work makes me pause, but it's in the early stages, so rather than get scared or start ranting, I'll just revert to the fanboy fail-safe: in Nolan we trust!

    4 years agoby @zanyzapFlag

  22. Jimthar

    guy ritchie? wow, didn't see that one coming. i really dont see this as his type of film. why dont they just wait until superman is done to do XERXES? that way snyder COULD do both. i think the moviegoing public will be ok with that, as long as they get a movie thats as good as 300

    4 years agoby @jimtharFlag

  23. RojoDiablo

    If it has to be somebody, I wouldn't mind seeing if Ritchie could do well with this. I can't believe SP is testing poorly.

    4 years agoby @rojodiabloFlag

  24. Dan

    All kinds of bad news in this article... sigh.

    4 years agoby @dan1Flag

  25. skywise

    Sucker Punch is testing poorly...that is not the kind of news i want to hear but even more surprising is that Guy Ritchie was offered this job...this just doesnt seem to be something he would be good at. The man is a hit or miss director at best but what is good is REALLY good, and what is bad is just plain awful. strange choice.

    4 years agoby @skywiseFlag

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