Given that the movie ended with almost the entire cast being killed off with the exception of David Wenham’s Dillios and Lena Headey’s Queen Gorgo, Zack Snyder’s 300 didn’t seem to possess much franchise potential on the surface, but after it made $456 million at the box office, it ended up getting a sequel anyway.
The two aforementioned characters were used as the means to tie Rise of an Empire to the first film, which was a functional historical actioner elevated above mediocrity almost entirely on the strength of Eva Green’s unhinged performance as Artemisia. Reviews were mixed at best, although it did decent business by hauling in $337 million during its theatrical run, but seven years have now passed since then and it looks as if the series could be done for good.
Noam Murro may have helmed the second installment, but original director Snyder remained on board as co-writer and producer, while at the time Rise of an Empire was released, he teased that potential future films could visit different time periods to establish a shared 300 universe. However, in a new interview, the deposed architect of the DCEU revealed that he’d written a third entry, but Warner Bros. said no to it.
“I just couldn’t really get my teeth into it. Over the pandemic, I had a deal with Warner Bros. and I wrote what was essentially going to be the final chapter in 300. But when I sat down to write it I actually wrote a different movie. I was writing this thing about Alexander the Great, and it just turned into a movie about the relationship between Hephaestion and Alexander. It turned out to be a love story. So it really didn’t fit in as the third movie. It’s called Blood and Ashes, and it’s a beautiful love story, really, with warfare. I would love to do it. WB said no. you know, they’re not huge fans of mine. It is what it is.”
Based on the repeated comments that Snyder’s been making in regards to his former employers throughout his most recent batch of press commitments, WB seem to be very keen when it comes to washing their hands of him entirely, bringing their fifteen-year working relationship to an acrimonious end. We may never know if 300 had the capability to sustain multiple additional sequels that strayed further and further from the core concept, but Blood and Ashes sounds like an interesting approach nonetheless.