Before he created the divisive “Snyderverse”, Zack Snyder put his recognisable style to good use in his 2007 adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel 300. The film is filled to the brim with iconic shots ripped straight from the panels of the comic book, hyper-cool fight sequences that utilise slow-motion to a startling degree (it is Snyder after all), and the kind of endless quotability that doesn’t happen too often these days. If, in 2007, you hadn’t seen 300 yet, you definitely had a mate yell “THIS. IS. SPARTA.” at every opportunity. The tale of 300 brave Spartans led by a very Scottish-sounding, apple-chomping Gerard Butler as Leonidas, defending their home and way of life from the tyranny of Xerxes and his horde of invaders. The ultra-muscled, and super oiled-up soldiers (including David Wenham and Michael Fassbender) must hold their own, fending off an army that outnumbers them considerably at a narrow passage called “The Hot Gates”. What they lack in numbers, they more than make up for in skill, style and manly yelling. A huge success on release, the film did spawn an OK-ish sequel (not at all quotable, though) and allowed Snyder the chance to tackle the DC stable of characters (and make that one owl film).
But did you know…
- In 1998, a book titled Gates of Fire was released, telling another fictional version of the Battle of Thermopylae. Michael Mann was set to direct an adaptation, but setbacks (including poor receptions of Troy and Alexander) put the film on the backburner. The project was eventually scrapped after 300 was released.
- The movie was shot entirely on blue screen — apart from one scene featuring horses running across the countryside, which was shot outside (although still heavily digitally altered).
- Not only did Snyder use the graphic novel as a storyboard, resulting in the film being a shot for shot adaptation, but the filmmakers also recycled some of the leftover weapons from Troy and Alexander.