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Why Zack Snyder Didn’t Direct 300’s Sequel, Rise Of An Empire


  • Zack Snyder didn’t direct ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ due to working on ‘Man of Steel.’
  • Noam Murro replaced Snyder as director for the sequel.
  • Despite not directing, Snyder co-wrote the script and produced ‘300: Rise of an Empire.’

Zack Snyder was celebrated for his work on 300, one of the most unique historical war movies ever, yet he didn’t return to direct its sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire. Following his work in the DCEU, Zack Snyder has become one of Hollywood’s most well-known but divisive filmmakers, known for his distinct visual style and visual techniques that are hit or miss. Among more controversial works like his superhero films, 300 and its many iconic quotes are widely perceived as some of his best work. Almost everyone knows the iconic “This is SPARTA!!!” scene.

As of May 2024,
is streaming on Hulu, and
300: Rise of an Empire
is available to rent on various services.

2006’s 300 was a hit with audiences but was the beginning of a harsh Rotten Tomatoes streak in Zack Snyder’s career, where his films have received poor reception from critics but praise from fans. Regardless, the film made a significant box-office profit, allowing Snyder to get involved with Watchmen and future DC projects. Almost a decade later, Warner Bros. developed a sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, which was less successful critically and commercially.

Zack Snyder Directed 2013’s Man Of Steel Over 300: Rise Of An Empire

Noam Murro Replaced Zack Snyder On The Sequel

The primary reason for Snyder’s absence on Rise of an Empire was due to him working on Man of Steel. According to a Variety article from 2008, Snyder was interested in directing the sequel to his Ancient Greek sword-and-sandal epic for a time. However, the project seemingly took years to get off the ground, and by the time it was ready to launch, Snyder had already invested himself in an enormous undertaking, trying to develop DC’s cinematic universe to rival Marvel.

After Man of Steel, Snyder was instrumental in mapping out years of DC’s future, some of which happened, most of which didn’t. As for Rise of an Empire, filmmaker Noam Murro was entrusted with the sequel, which still performed decently at the box office, grossing $337.6 million on a $110 million budget. The film suffered with critics and audiences, with a 45% Tomatometer and 51% Audience Score. Man of Steel wasn’t exactly the smash hit DC had hoped for, but it’s ultimately considered one of the best movies in the DCEU.

Zack Snyder Was Still Heavily Involved In The 300 Sequel

Zack Snyder Co-Wrote The Script and Produced The Movie

Despite not being directly involved as the director, Zack Snyder worked on the development of Rise of an Empire, helping establish a continuity between the two visions. Snyder helped pen the script for the blockbuster sequel and worked on the film as a producer. Producers can be involved at varying levels creatively, but the film attempted to emulate his visual style, so it’s likely he worked on 300: Rise of an Empire to a significant degree.

Sources: Variety

300: Rise of an Empire

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel, “Xerxes,” 300: Rise of an Empire follows greek general Themistokles’ attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. The movie pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and the deadly Artemisia, the vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Noam Murro

Release Date
March 5, 2014

102 minutes


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