Monday, October 31, 2005

Blog Number 49 - Andrew Pleavin to play Daxos in Frank Miller's '300'

Several weeks ago, a reader left a comment for me on the September 30th blog, which stated that Englishman Andrew Pleavin had been cast in Frank Miller's '300'. According to the IMDB, it has now been confirmed that Pleavin will portray Daxos, the leader of the Arcadians.

Coincidentally, Andrew Pleavin played the part of Orestes in 'Atilla', which starred Gerard Butler who will be occupying the role of King Leonidas of Sparta.

I am grateful to the individual (anonymous) who left the comment for me and would like to thank him/her once again! Cheers mate!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Blog Number 48 - The battle formation of the '300' Spartans

Here is another illustration from Frank Miller's '300', of which this one shows the phalanx, which was the military formation used by the 300 Spartans. If you haven't had a chance to see the comics, there are hundreds of images with such detail that I've wondered how long it took Frank Miller & Lynn Varley to complete all the illustrations.

Inasmuch as there are so many to choose from, my favorite illustrations are the ones which focus on the Battle of Thermopylae.

What would be some of the other images that you would like to see from '300'?

Thanks Ebwhite!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Blog Number 47 - The typical meal of the '300' Spartans

Every morning, I like to read the comments that readers have left so that I can respond to them and perhaps get an idea or two for the next blog. In addition, I've have had a chance to read some of the questions that were asked from Gerard that prompted me to write about the foods that the Spartans ate.

If there is one meal that has been equated with ancient Spartan cuisine it would have to be the infamous 'black broth' which consisted of pork, blood, salt and vinegar. To those outside of Sparta who sampled this meal, it was definitely not one which would be called a gastronomical delight, which prompted one visiting Greek guest to remark afterwards: 'Now I understand why the Spartans do not fear death.'

The remark was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, however, it said something about Spartan toughness and resiliency!

After looking at the ingredients, it's not what one would consider a tasteful meal, right?

Thanks Miyuki!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Blog Number 46 - The translation of the name of the leader of the '300' Spartans, King Leonidas

The legend of King Leonidas it seems has grown exponentially since his death at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Herodotus' account of the self-sacrifice of Leonidas & the '300' along with the warriors of Thespiae led Hollywood to make a movie which premiered in 1962 entitled 'The 300 Spartans'. With a tentative release date in 2006, this theme will be revisited with Frank Miller's '300' which is currently being directed by Zack Snyder in Montreal, Canada.

More is known about King Leonidas' exploits on the battlefied of Thermopylae than what occurred during his lifetime. What is known is that Leonidas' name loosely translated means 'he with the spirit of a lion' and that he was born into the royal house of the Agiads around 540 B.C., perhaps a little later. The Agiads claimed descent from Heracles (Latin - Hercules), the mythological Greek strongman who killed a lion with his bare hands. Therefore, what better name was there to bestow on the male child who would become a future royal of the militaristic city-state of Sparta?

As a testament to his bravery, a stone lion was soon erected after the Battle of Thermopylae marking the place where Leonidas was to have fallen.

Thanks Elisa & Efharisto Maria!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Blog Number 45 - Portrait of King Leonidas of the '300' Spartans

This plaque which measures 8 inches horizontally and 10 inches vertically, commemorates the Spartan king Leonidas who died with his 300 Spartiates at the battlefield of Thermopylae (Hot Gates). This image is of the statue of King Leonidas which currently is exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Sparta.

Would you like to see more images of King Leonidas and I'm curious as to hear what you think of this one?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Blog Number 44 - The helmet of King Leonidas in Frank Miller's '300'

I received a comment yesterday from an actor who is appearing in Frank Miller's '300' as one of the 300 Spartans. One of the questions that I had was whether or not the Spartans would have a crest on their helmets since they didn't have them in the comics. The actor was able to confirm that the 300 Spartiates wouldn't, however, as he hadn't seen Gerry Butler (King Leonidas) he couldn't say whether or not he would have a crest on his.

Since the illustrations from the book show King Leonidas with a crest and the '300' without one, I would have to assume that he will, therefore, it will be one way of distinguishing the King of Sparta from the rest of his troops.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Blog Number 43 - The last breakfast in Frank Miller's '300'

According to the historian Herodotus, King Leonidas had heard from the seer Megistias that the omens foresaw that 'death was coming with dawn'. Another historian Ephorus, wrote that an Ionian Greek by the name of Tyrrhastiadas of Cyme had delivered the fateful news to the leader of Sparta.

After receiving the news that the Greek forces would soon be surrounded, King Leonidas said to the remaining Spartiates: 'Have a good breakfest, men, for we dine in Hades!' In '300', Frank Miller also wrote, 'Spartans. Ready your breakfast and eat hearty..For tonight we dine in hell!' In 480 B.C. the Greeks were polytheistic and Hades in mythology was believed to be the underworld; in other words, what the ancients believed to be hell.

The Spartans and other Greeks that fought that last day, knew of their impending deaths and rather than surrendering fought to the end. It was their self-sacrifice which became part of the Thermopylae legend and is the reason why their story continues unabated after 2,500 years.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Blog Number 42 - Frank Miller's '300' Corinthian helmet

The cover of the 5th comic book in the Frank Miller's '300' series shows a battered Corinthian-type helmet worn by one of the 300 Spartiates. To the right of the comic is one of the helmets in my collection which I purchased several years ago and which most closely resembles the helmet which was illustrated by Lynn Varley.

The distinction made between King Leonidas & the other Spartan warriors is that his helmet is the only one with the horse-hair crest.

Do you think that only King Leonidas will have a crest on his helmet, or do you think the other Spartiates will as they did in the movie 'The 300 Spartans'?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Blog Number 41 - The age of King Leonidas in Frank Miller's '300'

In Chapter 2, Frank Miller writes about King Leonidas, 'All his fifty years have been a straight road to this one gleaming moment of destiny.'

While it has been established that King Leonidas of Sparta died at the battle of Thermopylae in August, 480 B.C., very little is known about the year of his birth, or for that matter, his formative years. Paul Cartledge, the distinguished scholar and historian who has written countless volumes relative to the Spartans, has narrowed the date of the birth of King Leonidas to around 540 B.C. Therefore, if we go under the assumption that Leonidas was born anywhere in the years subsequent to 540 B.C., this would have placed him in the 50+ year old range.

Since we can't say with absolute certainty what the age of King Leonidas was when he fought at Thermopylae, the age attributed to him has come under scrutiny. To the naysayers, it might sound improbable (not impossible, mind you) especially in this day and age for a man in his 50's to have endured the rigors of ancient warfare for several days. When you factor in the stifling heat and humidity of Greece in August, along with the heaviness of his armor which probably would have comprised about half of his body weight, then I believe you must arrive at the conclusion that this was an extraordinary individual whose presence on the battlefield inspired his 300 Spartan warriors and the other Greek allies to heroic lengths.

What age range do you think King Leonidas as portrayed by Gerard Butler will be in '300'; his thirties, forties, or fifties?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Blog Number 40 - Painting of King Leonidas and the '300' Spartans by Jacques-Louis David

The most famous painting of King Leonidas is unquestionably Jacques-Louis David's 'Leonidas at Thermopylae' which David began painting in 1798 and which took a very long time to complete since it took over a decade before it was first exhibited in 1814. King Leonidas of Sparta is depicted in the foreground and seems to be highlighted by bright light while the warriors around him are smaller and a shade darker emphasizing the heroic qualities of the central character in the painting.

What is noticable is that many of the poses and figures used by David referred to classical prototypes which depicted classical warriors in the nude. This became a source of debate during David's time because Leonidas, his 300 Spartiates and the other Greek warriors were clad in armor during the Battle of Thermopylae.

The original painting currently hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris which is befitting since the artist was of French extraction.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Blog Number 39 - The British Commonwealth of Nations to be well represented in Frank Miller's '300'

After having read that fellow Aussie David Wenham would be in Frank Miller's '300', I noticed that the cast would be comprised of a who's who of British Commonwealth nations.

First off to lead the pack was American born, English raised Sienna Miller who was offered the Queen of Sparta role only to turn it down and have it accepted several months later by countrywoman Lena Headey. Then came the biggest announcement that Scotsman Gerard Butler had accepted the key role as the heroic King Leonidas of the 300 Spartans.

Announcements followed weeks later that the rest of the cast would include Irishman Michael Fassbender, Wales born and Irish raised Vincent Regan, United Kingdom's Dominic West and the aforementioned David Wenham from the 'Land down under'.

Do you think that the '300' should have more of an American flavor, or do you like the fact that the cast will be made up mostly of actors from the U.K.?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blog Number 38 - Actor from Oz, David Wenham to star in Frank Miller's '300'

It was recently confirmed that Aussie David Wenham will be part of the cast of Frank Miller's '300' tale of the Battle of Thermopylae. However, unbeknownst at this time is the role that he will be playing along with several others who have been announced as being part of the cast. Filming started on Monday October 17th, therefore, word should be arriving pretty shortly as to whom the actors will be portraying.

Do we have any guesses who D.H. will be playing?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Blog Number 37 - Rodrigo Santoro to play Xerxes in Frank Miller's '300'

It was recently announced that several actors had been named to be part of the cast of Frank Miller's '300'. Of these which included Dominic West and David Wenham, the only actor mentioned in a specific role is Rodrigo Santoro who will be playing the part of the King of Persia, Xerxes.

Rodgrigo Santoro's part hasn't been confirmed by the studio, therefore there is always the possibility that this part will be played by somone else. Several months ago Sienna Miller was mentioned as portraying Gorgo, the queen of Sparta, however, that role is now being played by Lena Headey.

Has Santoro's role been confirmed or is this idle chatter?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Blog Number 36 - Why Greece chose Thermopylae as the battlefield in Frank Miller's '300'

In Frank Miller's '300', very little is mentioned as to why the united Greek army spearheaded (no pun intended) by King Leonidas & the 300 Spartans chose to met the Persian army at Thermopylae. Since the Persian army which numbered in the hundreds of thousands entered Northern Greece and traveled southward with the Persian navy providing support along the coastline, it was decided that Thermopylae would be the best line of defense since it was only 50 feet wide at the time in 480 B.C. and therefore could neutralize Xerxes' much larger army.

I have posted an image from 'Blog Number 24' of the Battle of Thermopylae by Stanley Meltzoff and if you would like to see others relative to the battle, please let me know.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Blog Number 35 - My introduction to Frank Miller's '300' comics

I'll never forget the first time I came across Frank Miller's comic book series, '300'. In the late 90's, while surfing the internet to see what information was available about the movie, 'The 300 Spartans', I came across the website which was selling the 5-part series. I had read quite a few books about King Leonidas and the Battle of Thermopylae, therefore, I had to see how it was depicted in comic book form. When I received the comics several days later, I couldn't wait to see if this was an historically accurate re-enactment of the battle. Even though it wasn't, I really enjoyed Frank Miller's version and especially the illustrations by Lynne Varley. I guess the irony is that I never purchased a comic book when I was younger and here I was in my 30's buying my first ones. I guess better late than never!

I'm curious, how old were you when you bought or read them?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Blog Number 34 - '300' Thermopylai (Greek), Thermopylae (Latin)

Occasionally, when readers have delved into the different books relative to King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans, there has been some confusion over the variations in the spelling of the Battle of Thermopylae (Thermopylai). Thermopylai is the Greek transliteration while Thermopylae is the more familiar Latinized version.

The translation of this book in Greek reads 'From Marathon to Thermopylae' and the warrior in the foreground is none other than King Leonidas of Sparta.

Since there aren't that many illustrations of King Leonidas, would there be interest in seeing more?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Blog Number 33 - Frank Miller '300' promo poster

This image is of the '300' promo poster which measures 17 inches x 11 inches and was used to advertise the Frank Miller '300' comic books. It took quite a long time to locate this rarity, however, it was well worth the wait. The one observation that I've made in collecting all these items is, the longer it takes to locate, the rarer it is! Rare = $$$ spent

Now for the question; have you seen anything rare relative to Frank Miller's '300'?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Blog Number 32 - Stelios in Frank Miller's '300'

It seems as if in several instances, there have been characters who have provided some type of comic relief to counteract the drama of war. Who can forget 'Private Pyle' in 'Full Metal Jacket', 'Corporal Upham' in 'Saving Private Ryan, etc., etc., etc.? Frank Miller has continued the tradition in '300' where we are introduced to the Spartan warrior 'Stelios'.

While marching from Sparta to Thermopylae, the young Spartan hoplite stumbles while marching in formation. For this transgression, he is almost beaten to within an inch of his life by his captain before he is saved by King Leonidas who will be played by Gerry Butler. It seems that the price that this young warrior has to pay for his ineptitude is being referred to occasionally as 'Stumblios'. However, after his brief admonishment, he once again becomes an integral part of the famed Spartan phalanx. As part of his redemption, Stelios is called upon by Leonidas to deliver the first fatal blow to a Persian officer in the final battle. Since 'Braveheart' and 'Gladiator' were successful and had a few moments of levity, perhaps Zack Snyder will incorporate some humor into '300'.

Having read '300', which character if any, do you think will be dispensing the one-liners?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Blog Number 31 - Greek '300' version - MOLON LABE!!!

Here is the Greek version of Frank Miller's '300' in which King Leonidas utters the laconic phrase in Greek which means 'Come and get them'. This is a close-up which focuses on the King of Sparta who will be portrayed by Gerry Butler.

Is this your favorite line from '300' or is it something else?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blog Number 30 - '300' final stand illustration

This is my second favorite page in the '300' comics by Frank Miller. The illustrations by Lynn Varley are phenomenal and this one in particular shows a resolute Leonidas and the 300 Spartans in a battle formation before their final stand.

If you ever have a chance to see 'The 300 Spartans', you'll see this scene depicted with Richard Egan as the heroic King Leonidas of Sparta. Here is the King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans of Thermopylae 2/3/05 blog which includes the lobby card from the movie to see how it was captured in 1962.

In my opinion, this scene will require the greatest range of acting since a myriad of emotions will have to be displayed such as courage, fearlessness, anxiety, etc.

Can Gerard Butler do it? I'm betting he can! What do you think?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blog Number 29 - '300', Come and get it!!!

Without a doubt, this is my favorite page in the '300' comics where King Leonidas readies his 300 Spartans against the Persian advance by telling the Persians to 'Come and get it'. In Greek, the words were MOLON LABE, which phonetically sounds like MO-LON LA-VEH. This laconic phrase which has become synonymous with the battle of Thermopylae replicates the famous words of defiance spoken by King Leonidas of Sparta. If you ever have a chance to see 'The 300 Spartans' with Richard Egan as King Leonidas, you'll hear how it sounds. Great stuff!!!

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this phrase will be spoken by Gerard Butler in the '300'. I am more certain of this than the sun coming up tomorrow, that's how sure I am! The only question is, will be it be spoken in English or in the archaic Spartan dialect as in 'The 300 Spartans'.

I would be interested in what you think, Greek or English with a Scottish accent?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Blog Number 28 - King Leonidas of '300' - Gerard Butler website

For all of the Frank Miller '300' readers who may wish to learn more about Scotsman Gerard Butler who will star as King Leonidas of Sparta, there is a website which will illuminate you with everything you wanted to know about G.B. and more.

The website is administered by Tamara Halstead and has a loyal and thriving international membership dedicated to G.B. You've got to love those 'tarts'!!!

Btw, if you want to want to know what a Scottish brogue sounds like, click the title to the blog and voila, you'll hear Gerry.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Blog Number 27 - Warner Bros. $60 million gamble on Frank Miller's '300'

Here is a link to an article which appeared this morning relative to Frank Miller's '300' movie from Rather than being redundant, please access the following link to hear the latest about '300'.

If you double click the title of this blog, the link will forward you directly to the article.

I would like to hear what you have to say about the other movies such as the 'Gates of Fire' by Steven Pressfield or the proposed 'The 300 Spartans' remake @ the 300 Spartan Warriors google group. Do you think this movie is a $60 million gamble?

Many thanks to Alex, good on ya mate!!!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Blog Number 26 - Casting call for Pleistarchos, son of King Leonidas in Frank Miller's '300'

Superhero Hype! has noted that a casting call is in place for a child ages 6-8 to play Pleistarchos, the son of King Leonidas in Frank Miller's '300'.

Pleistarchos eventually succeeded his father after the Battle of Thermopylae and reigned during the years 480-459 B.C. as one of Sparta's two kings.

Since this child will be a relative novice to the movies, do you think this will be his first role or do you think that he has had some experience in the industry?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Blog Number 25 - Lena Headey as the Queen of Sparta in Frank Miller's '300'

According to, British actress Lena Headey will be portray Gorgo, the Queen of Sparta. Headey will play opposite Gerard Butler who has been cast as King Leonidas, leader of the 300 Spartans who fought at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

It was originally reported several months ago that Sienna Miller was to have played the role of Queen Gorgo, however, the role has now been filled by Headey.

Do you think this will be the Lena Headey breakout role?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Blog Number 24 - Frank Miller 's '300' - The battlefield of Thermopylae

In Blog Number 11 dated September 23rd, I mentioned the artwork of Stanley Meltzoff who in my opinion painted one of the greatest images of the Battle of Thermopylae. Here is the 2-page layout that appeared in a 1963 issue of Life magazine, which according to the historian Herodotus, shows how the battlefield would have appeared in 480 B.C.

Do you think that they will show an accurate looking battlefield via computer graphics or do you think it will reflect the look of the comics?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Blog Number 23 - Frank Miller 's '300' casting for 'Oracle girl'

According to Superhero Hype! once again, there is a casting call for a woman aged 18-24 to play the 'Oracle girl'. The oracles of Delphi had an influence on the events of the Greco-Persian Wars, therefore, how this character plays out in the movie, could lend a touch of authenticity to the film. This role could go a long way in pacifying those who are not enamored with '300' being made into a movie in lieu of 'Gates of Fire'.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Blog number 22 - Casting call for young Leonidas in Frank Miller's '300'

According to Superhero Hype! there is a casting call for males of various ages to portray King Leonidas of Sparta during different phases of his life. The ages that are being cast are 3-5, 7-8 and 11-12 and since these are non-speaking roles, I would have to assume that most likely the scenes of young Leonidas will be used in flashbacks.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Blog number 21 - Vincent Regan to portray the 'Captain' in Frank Miller's '300'

More news from IMDB that Welsh actor Vincent Regan has been chosen to portray the 'Captain' in Frank Miller's '300'. Recently Regan played Eudoros, one of Achilles' warriors who were named the Myrmidons because they had taken their name from the ancient Thessalian king Myrmidon.

While Regan played a minor role opposite Brad Pitt's Achilles, this character is one of the major roles in Frank Miller's '300'. However, the key role in the '300' movie will be played by Scotsman Gerard Butler as King Leonidas of the 300 Spartans.

Here's one for you to ponder! Do you think the 'Captain' will be as sadistic as he is in the comics?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Blog Number 20 - Michael Fassbender to play 'Stelios' in Frank Miller's '300' movie

According to IMDB, Irishman Michael Fassbender will play the role of 'Stelios' in Frank Miller's '300'. Fassbender is best known in the States as playing 'Sgt. Burton 'Pat' Christens' in the HBO series, 'Band of Brothers'.

However, for Aussies like me, you've got to like an actor who played Guy Fawkes in 'Gunpowder, Treason & Plot'.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Blog Number 19 - Frank Miller '300' press release

Here's a press release which was distributed to coincide with the hardcover release of Frank Miller's '300' in which F.M. says about the 300 Spartans, 'This is the best damn story I've ever gotten my hands on'.

I couldn't agree more!!!

If you were to choose between the hardcover and the softcover and price wasn't a factor, which one would you choose and for what reason?