300: Rise of an Empire promises to have a stronger female on-screen presence, which isn't exactly a difficult feat considering 300, released in 2007, was nothing but wash-board abs and a host of handsome men.

Lena Headey
Lena Headey at Elle's Women in Hollywood event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in L.A.

The sequel's list of equally butch men includes Jack O'Connell (Skins); Sullivan Stapleton (Gangster Squad); Hans Matheson (Sherlock Holmes) and Callan Mulvey (Zero Dark Thirty). David Wenham, Andrew Tiernan and Rodrigo Santora are reprising their roles from 300.

300: Rise of an Empire will follow on from 300 -sort of- and focus on a separate battle in the Persian Wars. Whereas 300 focussed on the Battle of Thermopylae, Rise of an Empire follows events at the naval Battle of Artemisium which ran concurrent to the land altercation.  The sequel will also feature plotlines derived from historical portrayals of the Battle of Salamis.

Frank Miller's graphic novel, 300, bears some resemblance to historical facts - again, sort of- and Rise of an Empire promises to be much the same. 

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) opens the trailer, referencing the original 300 film; she reprises her role as Queen Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas. She has only been on set of Rise of an Empire for ten days but told Total Film, that the set is "huge".

Headey also commented on how the film differs from the original, on the subject she said: "it's different in that Zack [Snyder] didn't direct it, so it's a very different feeling". However, as we can anticipate from the trailer: "the film, visually, follows on very much from the original." Snyder is producing the movie (Noam Murro has taken over directing) and therefore, we can safely assume, had some involvement in the visual process as it simply looks far too similar. 

Watch the movie trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire:

Headey was able, in reprising her role, to experience a different side of her character as she "got to hold a sword", quite a contrast to her more demure role in 300. Headey felt that 300 was so "beloved" because of "its physicality and visceral content." 

Eva Green (Casino Royale) also plays a strong female character, a commander of Persian troops under Xerxes, Artemisia. 

300: Rise of an Empire is due for release in US and UK cinemas on March 7th 2014. 

David Wenham
David Wenham at the L.A. premiere of Legends of the Guardian: The Owls of Ga'Hoole held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

Eva Green
Eva Green at the U.K. premiere of Dark Shadows in London.