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Noam Murro to Direct 300: Battle of Artemesia

The Israeli-born director whose latest hit was 2008's Smart People — where Dennis Quaid plays a daffy old Carnegie Mellon prof and Sarah Jessica Parker the student turned love interest — is set to take on the sequel to the cult hit 300. The script, written by the director of the first movie, is based on a new graphic novel by Frank Miller that gives the foreground to Xerxes, the effects-enlarged Persian emperor played by Rodrigo Santoro in the original. (You can barely recognize him as the sexy office crush in 2003's Love Actually.) And with 300 director Zack Snyder still onboard as co-scriptwriter, you can be sure to expect at least some of that entrancing sepia-toned world this time around. [HR]

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images