New casting suggests Xerxes has been written out of 300 sequel

Newcomer Jamie Blackley has landed the co-lead in Warner’s “300″ prequel/sequel/spin-off.

Deadline says the “Snow White and the Huntsman” actor will “play Calisto, a teen whose desire to become the heroic man/soldier his father was leads the 16 year old to become a leader of a small band of soldiers.”

Interestingly enough, the version of the script I read didn’t feature a character called Calisto, but Xerxes – the villain of the first picture – who is forced into the leader position by a persuasive femme fatale.

Guess they’ve scrapped the idea to base the film around the Xerxes character? That would explain why Rodrigo Santoro has yet to be contacted about reprising his role from “300″ and, for that matter, the film’s constantly changing title – which went from “300 : The Battle of Artemesia” to “300 : The Battle of Artemesium” and now, simply the untitled “300″ sequel. At the same time, maybe Calisto becomes Xerxes later on? I don’t know.

Noam Murro directs the film, which also features Aussie actor Sullivan Stapleton and Bond babe Eva Green.