Variety are reporting that Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom, The Gangster Squad) is in final negotiations to star in the forthcoming prequel to Zach Snyder’s ’300,’ ’300: The Battle of Artemisia.’ Stapleton would join Eva Green, who’s portraying Artemisia, a ruthless, gold-covered goddess who persuades Xerxes to amass his army and helps lead them into battle. While Variety’s report doesn’t give details regarding the role Stapleton would be playing, Deadline bring word that the actor will be portraying Xerxes (portrayed in the original ‘300’ by Rodrigo Santoro). UPDATED: Deadline has updated their story saying Stapleton will in-fact play Themistocles.

‘300: The Battle of Artemisia’ is based on Frank Miller’s upcoming graphic novel that takes Xerxes, the Persian leader who is an antagonist in ’300,’ and turns him into more of a pivotal figure. He’s a man in search of godhood after the death of his father, battling an Athenian warlord named Themistocles. The story takes place over the course of several years, but the focal point is the battle of Artemisium, which occured in 480 BC. Previous reports had Snyder – who in my eyes done a fantastic job with ’300′ – pegged to direct until Warner Bros and producer Christopher Nolan signed him up to helm ‘Superman: Man of Steel.’ Noam Murro (five-time DGA nominated commercials director) is on board to direct the film. Look out for ’300: The Battle of Artemisia’ sometime in 2013.