Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Blog Number 141 - Daily Kos blogger mentions the '300' Spartans

One of the most visible and political blogs on the internet, Daily Kos had an overview of the 300 Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae which appeared January 12th, 2006.

Since my blog is apolitical, I included the the link because the battle is neatly condensed into eight paragraphs.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Blog Number 140 - One of the reasons why Ephialtes was not part of the '300' Spartans' phalanx

If you had a chance to view Video Journal #2, you will notice that the character Ephialtes had a difficult time holding his shield in the correct position.

According to Frank Miller's version of the Battle of Thermopylae, it was Ephialtes' inability to hold his shield which was the primary reason King Leonidas wouldn't allow him to stand in line with the other Spartans. Since the phalanx depended on the regimented cohesiveness of the unit, one warrior's ineffectiveness could lead the phalanx into disarray.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Blog Number 139 - Another historical element added to Frank Miller's '300'

While reviewing the IMDB credited cast for '300', another interesting character appeared. The role of the 'free Greek baker' played by Marcel Jeannin had originated not with the Frank Miller comics, however, this character is one who had been added to flesh out the story.

There were other Greek city-states who fought at Thermopylae besides Sparta, therefore, this character is a great addition to the movie. In Blog Number 119, I mentioned the other city-states that fought along with King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans. I believe that the 'free Greek baker' is one of the approximately 900 helots who were present at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Blog Number 138 - Stuntmen for Frank Miller's '300'

Here's something of interest to ponder about several of the actors in the cast of Frank Miller's '300'. If you look at the IMDB biographies of many of the cast members playing unnamed Spartans, they seem to have an extensive background in stunt work.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Blog Number 137 - Centurion in Frank Miller's '300'

Occasionally, I will go to the IMDB website to see if there are any new additions to the cast of '300'. There was one entry that really had me scratching my head and that was that Dylan Smith would be playing the part of the Centurion. It wasn't that Dylan Smith would be in the cast, it was that there was a character called the Centurion.

When I hear the word Centurion, I immediately think of a Roman officer commanding a unit of 100 soldiers. However, since it seems that all the major roles of the Spartans and Andrew Pleavin as Daxos have been named, I will assume then that the Centurion is the character who will be commanding the elite 10,000 man unit of the Persian army called the Immortals.

Exponentially it works out perfectly 100 x 100 = 10,000!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Blog Number 136 - Ephialtes in Video Journal # 2

The first Video Journal which was narrated by Zack Snyder gave us our first glimpse into the look of how King Leonidas and the Spartans would be portrayed.

Video Journal #2 was even more informative as it basically confirmed that the Immortals would appear as depicted in Frank Miller's '300'. It also gave us the first look at Ephialtes even though it was from a distance. However, now we know that Andrew Tiernan will be wearing prosthetics as opposed to how Gollum was created using CGI technology in Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Blog Number 135 - Map of the last stand of the '300' Spartans

Here is a map of the last stand of the '300' Spartans at Thermopylae and an image of the actual location which I included in Blog Number 81 from Peter Connolly's book entitled 'Greece and Rome at War'.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Blog Number 134 - Hydarnes, leader of the Immortals

Since they stood out so prominently in the video journal linked in Blog Number 131, the last several postings have been about Xerxes' personal bodyguard of 10,000 warriors known as the Immortals.

According to Herodotus, the commander of this elite Persian unit was Hydarnes, who incidentally was played by Donald Houston in 'The 300 Spartans'.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Blog Number 133 - The Immortals of the Persian army

In Blog Number 131, we were provided the first look at several members of the cast wearing masks who will portray the Immortals. The Immortals were the crack unit of 10,000 warriors who comprised the royal bodyguard of Xerxes, the king of Persia. They were named the Immortals because whenever one of these elite warriors would die of wounds received in battle or of sickness, another replacement would fill in the ranks, thereby, keeping the unit at 10,000 strong.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blog Number 132 - Frank Miller '300' Immortals

If there was ever any doubt about whether or not '300' would conform to the Frank Miller comics, these thoughts should now be laid to rest.

While watching the video journal which I included in Blog Number 131, it became apparent that the masked extras being filmed represented the Immortals who were the elite 10,000 man unit of Xerxes' army. These Immortals conform to the Frank Miller illustrations as does Gerry Butler as King Leonidas and the other Spartan warriors.

From a historical viewpoint the Spartans are devoid of much of the armor which they would have worn at Thermopylae. For comparative purposes, I've also included a link to an illustration of one of the Immortals as how they would have appeared in 480 B.C.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Blog Number 131 - Video Journal #2 for Frank Miller's '300'

Here is a link to Superhero Hype which has the second video journal from Frank Miller's '300'. As much as I enjoyed viewing the first video journal, I liked this one even more.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Blog Number 130 - Lena Heady talks '300'

Frank Miller's '300' will have a cast pretty much dominated by males, which isn't suprising since this is a war movie with a little political intrigue thrown in for good measure. Therefore, it has been easy to overlook the role of Queen Gorgo who will be played by Lena Heady.

Here's a link to Superhero Hype which contains an interview with the aforementioned Lena Heady who will be playing opposite Gerry Butler. In '300' when King Leonidas goes off to battle the Persians at Thermopylae, Queen Gorgo will be left to 'hold the fort down' and fight against political subterfuge in Sparta.

Therefore, it seems that Zack Snyder's rewrite will show the battle on two fronts, King Leonidas at Thermopylae and Queen Gorgo in Sparta.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Blog Number 129 - 'Good, then we shall fight in the shade!'

According to Herodotus, the Spartiati Dienekes (Dieneces) was told that the Persian army was so large, that when they fought 'Their arrows would blot out the sun'. To which he replied, 'Good, then we shall fight in the shade!'

In the Frank Miller comics, these words are spoken by the young Spartan warrior Stelios. Therefore, we can expect Michael Fassbender to speak these immortal words in '300'.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blog Number 128 - Short shooting schedule vs. longer release date for Frank Miller's '300'

When I first read that Frank Miller's '300' would take only three months to film, I was astounded to say the least. Even more astonishing is the fact that the cast were given weeks off for the holidays, therefore, the shoot will be even more abbreviated. I assumed that with the lightning fast speed that it would take to film the 'live' actors, the movie would be released in breakneck fashion sometime in 2006.

However, according to an article written by Edward Douglas of Superhero Hype which I mentioned in Blog Number 126, it seems that the movie will be released during the summer of 2007. This will be almost a year and half after the filming of the cast which is scheduled to be wrapped up this month.

It seems that there will be an inverse correlation between filming and the time that it takes to work on the computer generated images. Yes, there will be a shorter shooting schedule with the cast, however, it is evident that it will take a much longer time to computer generate the landscapes, Persian army, corpses and even the 300 Spartans for that matter, since it seemed as if there were only 20-25 Spartan extras in Zack Snyder's video journal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Blog Number 127 - Conflicting release dates for Frank Miller's '300'

Two articles which appeared within two weeks of each other mentioned different release dates for Frank Miller's '300' starring Gerry Butler as King Leonidas, David Wenham as Dilios, Michael Fassbender as Stelios, etc.

In Blog Number 112, James Christopher mentioned that '300' would be released around the end of 2006 while in Blog Number 126, Edward Douglas wrote that the movie was to be scheduled for release during the summer of 2007.

This is reminiscent of the speculation which brewed over the city where the movie would be filmed. It was first announced that '300' would be filmed in Toronto and then it was later changed to Montreal, Canada.

If the trend continues, the latest news seems to be the most accurate, therefore, I believe the movie will be released in the summer of 2007.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Blog Number 126 - Revision! Frank Miller's '300' to be released in the summer of 2007

I mentioned in Blog Number 112, that according to James Christopher of the U.K.'s Times Online, Frank Miller's '300' would be released around Christmas 2006.

Well, that seems to have changed now because according to Edward Douglas of Superhero Hype, Warner Bros. intends on releasing '300' during the summer of 2007.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Blog Number 125 - Irishman Michael Fassbender (Stelios in Frank Miller's '300') fan sites

Here are several Michael Fassbender sites which have visited the '300' blog on many occasions. I thought I should mention them since Michael Fassbender will be potraying the young Spartan warrior Stelios.

The sites are An Angel Underneath & Fassbender Fans and they contain a wealth of information for those who wish to know more about the actor who will have a prominent role in '300'.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blog Number 124 - Meaning of Thermopylae

The name Thermopylae comes from the two Greek words which mean Hot (Thermo) Gates (Pylae). It is aptly named so because of the nearby hot springs which people still visit today because of the belief in their curative powers.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Blog Number 123 - January 12th update of Zack Snyder's '300' Production blog

I had a chance to look at the newest update to Zack Snyder's production blog which shows scenes of a Spartan agora that was constructed rather than created digitally.

This once again reaffirms my belief that '300' will be much more than what Frank Miller wrote about in his comic book series. Since this scene is only illustrated in one panel of the comics, I believe quite a bit will occur in the marketplace. It is evident that Zack Snyder seems to be conscious of production overruns, therefore, I don't feel that the money spent for this set will be only for cosmetic purposes.

Now the question is what will happen?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Blog Number 122 - Tomb of King Leonidas of the '300' Spartans

Here is an image of a French postcard which I acquired several years ago which legend has it shows the tomb of King Leonidas, leader of the 300 Spartans of Thermopylae.

If you would like to read more about this image and the reburial of King Leonidas, please go to the following link.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Blog Number 121 - CG and shake artists needed for Frank Miller's '300'

The text below is from an e-mail which another reader, or should I say participant, sent to me. As with all the info that I've received, the person(s) wish(es) to remain anonymous. I've been fortunate to be the recipient of some great information which I have always confirmed before posting. Since time is an issue here, I thought I would post it immediately since it seems like the real/reel deal. Yes, that pun was intended and I know it was lousy, however, I couldn't resist!

Best of luck, if you apply!!!
Highly creative, experianced (sic) and self motivated CG and Shake artists required for high profile production currently shooting. You will be based in Burbank and working directly with the VFX Supervisor for the producton in a small select team.

This is an opportunity to work with the shot material prior to it being distriubted (sic) to Vendors. This is a highly stylized production and requires the ablilty to work toward the Directors unique vision. You must be able to work under pressure and to set deadlines. No-one will be considered without a showreel.

Position required between - 9th Jan / Mid April or March (TBD)

Great Opportunity for Frank Miller Fans

Please send Resumes and Reels to...

VFX Dept
Les 300 Films
2595 Place Chasse
2nd Floor
H3Y 2C3

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Blog Number 120 - Aussie David Wenham (Dilios in Frank Miller's '300') fan sites

There are quite a few websites devoted to Gerard Butler who will play King Leonidas in Frank Miller's '300'. By far the most active is GerardButler.net whose members frequently visit these pages and leave comments which I always enjoy reading.

Since my fellow Aussie countryman David Wenham will be playing the role of the Spartan storyteller Dilios, I thought I would list several of the websites which have frequented the '300' web blog. Two of these are Dessicated Coconut and Wenham-Wonderland and if you want to learn more about this actor from 'the land down under' who will be playing one of the 300 Spartans, these would be the websites to frequent.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Blog Number 119 - Greek warriors who fought with King Leonidas and the '300' Spartans

One of the misconceptions of the Battle of Thermopylae is that only the 300 Spartans fought against the Persian army. This has probably been reinforced by the titles of Frank Miller's '300' and the 1962 movie, 'The 300 Spartans'.

For those who have read/and or seen the aforementioned book or movie, there has been mention made of some of the other Greek warriors who fought with the 300 Hippeis of King Leonidas' personal bodyguard. Therefore, for those who have not read the historical accounts of the battle, here is the breakdown of the united army of Greece:

They are as follows:

300 Spartans
700 Thespians
400 Thebans
500 Tegeans
500 Mantineans
120 from Orchomenus
1000 Arcadians
400 from Corinth
200 from Phlius
80 from Mycenae
1000 Phocians
1000 from Locris, etc.
900 helots

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Blog Number 118 - Address of Icestorm Digital Studio where Frank Miller's '300' is being filmed

The address of Mel's Cite du Cinema's Icestorm Digital Studio location where they are shooting Frank Miller's '300' starring Gerry Butler as King Leonidas, David Wenham as Dilios, Michael Fassbender as Stelios, etc. is 2595 Place Chassé, Montréal, QC H1Y 2C3.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Blog Number 117 - Azam Ali to be featured on Tyler Bates '300' score

An e-mail that I received from Tyler Bates mentioned that Azam Ali, the Iranian born renowned 'world music' vocalist will be featured during the score that he is composing for Frank Miller's '300'.

In addition, Ms. Ali is collaborating and recording together with Tyler on the project Roseland which they are nearing completion. To hear Azam she can be heard on the following websites niyazmusic.com or tylerbates.com.

In addition, if you would like to read Azam Ali's biography, please click on the blog number as it will direct you to her latest news.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Blog Number 116 - Tyler Bates' 'The Stand' promo from Frank Miller's '300'

Since the playlist for Tyler Bates' website is constantly revolving, here is the link to 'The Stand' promo composed for Frank Miller's '300'. The link will allow you to access the song irrespective of the current playlist which might not reflect the song on that particular day. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Blog Number 115 - Multicultural appeal of Frank Miller's '300'

Frank Miller's '300' comics have been translated into different languages and since the story of the 300 Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae has appealed to many different cultures, I thought I would provide a link which will allow those readers to be able to read my blogs in their native tongue.

If you click on the flag for for the language of your choice, the pages that you access should be translated. Forgive me as I am in the process of trying to find another link which will translate into more languages.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Blog Number 114 - Frank Miller's '300' - Barometer for the movie industry?

Apparently a $60-70 million dollar budget will suffice when it comes to Frank Miller's Battle of Thermopylae movie '300'. According to James Christopher's article which is featured in Blog Number 112, '300' could be a turning point with respect to financial conservatism.

If this movie is a success, it seems that many more studios would be willing to opt for this technology rather than then spending the big bucks on the movie sets and protracted shoots.

It seems that Hollywood will be watching how this turns out since it could impact movies in the future. Therefore, who knows we could see another Battle of Thermopylae movie in the future, like..........Steven Pressfield's 'Gates of Fire'.

Who knows, anything would be possible if costs could be scaled back. Therefore, I would be curious to hear your opinion.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Blog Number 113 - Inaccuracy of Herodotus' number of Persians vs. '300' Spartans

Perhaps the greatest source of controversy relative to Herodotus' account of the Battle of Thermopylae is the size of the Persian army. Herodotus' wrote that the size of the Persian army was approximately 1,700,000 men, however, historians over the years have calculated that number to a much more conservative range between 150-300,000 men.

Even so, the number of Persian troops amassed at Thermopylae was still much larger than the Greek army led by King Leonidas & his 300 Spartans which consisted of approximately 7,000 hoplites.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Blog Number 112 - Frank Miller's '300' 2006 Christmas release date

According to James Christopher of the U.K.'s Times Online, Frank Miller's '300' is scheduled to be released around Christmas this year.

There's an interesting paragraph written about '300' that you might enjoy reading in the article, which can be accessed by clicking on the Blog Number.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Blog Number 111 - New Year's prediction for Frank Miller's '300'

With filming scheduled to be wrapped up around the end of this month, it seems that Frank Miller's '300' will be released sometime in 2006. So here's my prediction for 2006 and the release of '300':

I think that '300' will recoup the money spent and earn much more with pretty good box office receipts, DVD sales and merchandising tie-ins. All of this I'm sure will be scrutinized by George Clooney's Maysville Pictures, who at one time were to produce Steven Pressfield's version of the Battle of Thermopylae entitled 'Gates of Fire'.

If '300' is a success which I believe it will be, I think that Maysville Pictures will reevaluate their position on 'GOF' and sometime in the near future we could see another movie based on the story of the 300 Spartans.

Have a Happy New Year!