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CBR News Coverage of Comic-Con International, 2006 is sponsored by:
CCI, DAY 3: WARNER BROS. PRESENTS "300"
by George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer
Posted: July 23, 2006

"300" Director Zack Snyder
Fans who appreciated how faithful the "Sin City" movie was to the comics can look for more of the same with the film adaptation of another Miller comic, "300." The film's director, Zack Snyder ("Dawn of the Dead" remake), stars Gerard Butler ("Dear Frankie") and David Wenham ("Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King") and Miller gave Comic-Con International audiences a preview of the film Saturday.

The panel kicked things off by showing a trailer, which looked extremely faithful to the graphic novel, with plenty of blood, guts and nudity.

Response from the audience and cast (who had not seen the trailer before) was so positive, it was shown twice more before the panel concluded.

Following the showing of the trailer, the panelists began a Q&A session:

  • Snyder said all the credit for the faithfulness of the film's look went to Miller -- "I didn’t have any ideas of my own, so I used Frank's." Miller, in turn, gave credit to Lynn Varley who did the backgrounds for "300."
  • As for the costumes in the film, the Spartans don't wear much. Butler said when he initially put on his costume, "I pretty much have never felt so stupid in all my life. I asked myself, 'How am I going to get through this?'"

    He said he got used to it after awhile, and by the end of the film, "you just want to look bigger than the other guys."

    Wenham said he quickly "hit the panic button" after being cast and called his agent, but then got used to the idea.

    However, when Wenham first found out he'd be in a codpiece the whole movie while filming in Montreal during the winter, he called Snyder right away. The director laughed, recalling this.

"300" Producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton Frank Miller signs a copy of "300."
  • Snyder said that the film took about 60 days to shoot.
  • An audience member mentioned trailer viewers saw men and women "getting together" (and rather explicitly), and wanted to know if viewers would see men "with" men?

    Miller responded with a straight face: "No. We call this fiction."

  • Characters' capes kept flipping over their heads during and that their sword arms kept getting tangled up in them. Butler added the capes were quite weighty and felt very heavy by the end of the day.

    "Spoken like a true Spartan," chided Wenham.

    "But it huuuurt," Butler mock-whined.

  • Miller discussed his trip to Greece when researching "300." He said he went on a historical tour and made a side-trip to the "Gates of Hell," which was quite different now with a treacherous freeway nearby.

    Miller added the land and the sea were Greece's biggest weapons in fighting invaders -- and their freeways.

  • Wenham said the most rewarding parts of working on the film were getting paid to be in the best shape of his life, working with Zack Snyder (the only director he's ever worked with who was calm every day of a shoot) and being in a movie inspired by a Frank Miller graphic novel.
  • The trailer had Nine Inch Nails music, and Snyder hopes to score the movie with music that sounds like a mix of contemporary and classical.
  • Snyder said he believes Hollywood has a changed mindset now when it comes to adapting comics nowadays: "They feel graphic novels don't need to be fixed anymore, just filmed."
    left to right - Frank Miller, Gerard Butler, David Wenham, and director Zack Snyder

Butler told the audience, "You only have one life. Follow your heart and go with your dreams."

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