Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom) has had a small coming out party as of late with starring roles in The Thing and in Warrior opposite Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises). He was also on the shortlist to play the lead in The Bourne Legacy, will play an operative in Kathryn Bigelow’s Kill Bin Laden and is currently filming the role of Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby. So, suffice to say, if you don’t know him yet you will very soon and he is now up for two more major roles.
First, Vulture reports he’s up for the lead role in Noam Murro‘s 300: Battle of Artemisia, the sequel to Zack Snyder‘s 2007 breakout feature 300. Should he accept, he’ll play Themosticles, the famed archon and general who led the Greeks to victory against the invading Persians in 480 BCE.
300 creator Frank Miller previously described the film as a parallel story to 300 centering on the Battle of Artemisium, which historically took place at the same time as the Battle of Thermopylae, which was the climactic finale of 300.
Producers Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari recently told SuperheroHype, “We have to say that [screenwriters] Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, his writing partner, have killed it. They’ve done a tremendous job making a highly intelligent, epic story that will stand on its own. But it’s not a conventional sequel and, for what we do, that’s what you hope and pray for. That you can be original and authentic at the same time.”
300: Battle of Artemisia is still without a production start date, but is expected to hit theaters in 2013.
Additional news on the Edgerton front has him in line with Bradley Cooper to star in Steven Soderbergh‘s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., an adaptation of the ’60s television show, which focused on the adventures of American and Russian members of a secret agency called the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.
Cooper is up for the lead role of Napoleon Solo after George Clooney dropped out and now Edgerton is rumored to play his Russian partner, Illya Kuryakin, the role played by David McCallum in the original series.
Like 300, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is without a start date so there’s no telling if he’ll be able to do both or only one as he’ll also need time for the Bigelow pic. For now, chalk both up to rumor and speculation.