A 300 Prequel Series, of All Things, Could Help Zack Snyder Get Back on Track

It’s time to abandon the Rebel Moon.

Gerard Butler in 300
Warner Bros. Pictures

Hollywood is always hunting for the next bankable franchise, and it’s got no qualms about going into the past to find it. The industry is already saturated with prequels, sequels, and spin-offs, but more are coming as studios and streamers circle back to franchises that seemed to end decades ago. As frustrating as this trend can be, it’s not all bad. While audiences aren’t exactly clamoring for another prequel series to a long-gone IP, one new spin-off could give an established director a refreshing change of pace.

Per Variety, Zack Snyder is in talks with Warner Bros. to develop a prequel series to his 2007 epic 300, which would see Snyder return as director and executive producer. Exact plot details are still up in the air, but it’s safe to assume the series would follow the rise of Leonidas, King of Sparta (portrayed in 300 by Gerard Butler). In the film, Leonidas and his army launch a doomed battle against the Persian king Xerxes, and their bravery turns a tragedy into a formidable legend.

If all goes to plan, 300 would be the latest in a growing number of films to get a belated sequel series. Amazon is developing a Legally Blonde prequel following a young Elle Woods, and the studio is also partnering with Guy Ritchie to develop a Young Sherlock Holmes series. Amazon’s had some success on the prequel front with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and Warner is clearly hoping to cash in on that success with a 300 prequel and the upcoming Dune: Prophecy.

300’s washboard abs are moving to the small screen.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Prequels are, by their very nature, frivolous. No one actually needs to trace the origins of Leonidas and his Spartan army. That said, this could be a win for Snyder, whose reputation has grown increasingly polarizing in the years since 300 premiered. He’s always been a director with a specific vision, but his recent output hasn’t done much to win the Snyder-averse to his camp. His multi-year collaboration with Netflix felt like a direct response to years of studio meddling and critical scrutiny, but while Snyder’s certainly gained the artistic freedom he’s always wanted, the quality of films he’s produced for the streamer has been increasingly dire. His latest, Rebel Moon, is particularly self-indulgent: overlong, unfocused, and way too reliant on style and lore.

Snyder’s work has always looked best on the big screen, but the director has been playing in the wrong medium for some time now. His most promising projects — think Justice League or Batman v. Superman — feel like miniseries smushed into a whopper of a film. There’s nothing wrong with telling an epic story, but Snyder’s talents might be better served in television. Most of his films are already split into multiple chapters; turning those chapters into episodes could give Snyder’s stories the space they need to breathe.

That makes his potential reunion with Warner Bros. interesting. The 300 prequel likely won’t be the next Andor, or even the next Rings of Power, but it might bring Snyder into a world he hasn’t explored before, and give him a much-needed career renaissance in the process.

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