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WATCH: The grim, gory 300: Rise of an Empire trailer

This follow-up to Zack Snyder's 2007 smash will serve as prequel, midquel, and sequel

"The lightest of breezes dances above the death cries of 300 men," says Lena Headey's Queen Gorgo in the new trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire. "That breeze became a wind. A wind, my brothers of sacrifice."

If that ridiculously florid dialogue sounds familiar to you, it's because 300: Rise of an Empire is a follow-up to 2007's surprise smash hit 300, which told the story of 300 Spartans forced to battle more than 300,000 Persian soldiers. 300: Rise of an Empire will reportedly take place before, during, and after the events of 300, which makes it a prequel, midquel, and sequel to the original film. Some actors are slated to reprise their roles from 300 — including Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo and Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes — but most of the original film's main cast, including star Gerard Butler, will not return for Rise of an Empire.

Though 300 director Zack Snyder serves as producer and co-writer for Rise of an Empire, he ceded the directorial chair to Noam Murro, who seems to have faithfully replicated the original film's distinctive aesthetic: Buckets of blood, portentous dialogue, and a seemingly endless supply of slow motion. 300 grossed over $450 million worldwide in 2007 — but do audiences still remember it fondly enough to see its story continued, without the original film's leading man, nearly six years later? We'll find out when 300: Rise of an Empire hits theaters in March 2014.

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