TIME movies

VIDEO: Behind the Scenes of 300: Rise of an Empire

There's plenty of capes, abs, swords and green screens

The action and drama of the 2006 film 300 returned to theaters this last weekend in a sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire. Despite the nearly eight-year-long gap between the movies, the latest 300 made an estimated $45 million opening weekend, which “falls squarely into the category of ‘not bad‘,” according to Forbes.

While seeing the vast expanse of land and water in the Greek-epic world on the big screen might get your blood pumping and send chills down your spine, we have to be honest: It looks significantly less impressive in the studio.

Although the behind-the-scenes video above (edited from footage provided by the studio) might take away some of the magic, it’s also a fascinating reminder of the technology available to transform the green screen-heavy studio scenes into a visually stunning presentation.

One of the most fascinating parts of the video shows what it was like to film the underwater scenes, which required a sizable crew to be in the water with the actors. While they were outfitted with goggles and wetsuits, Sullivan Stapleton (who plays Themistocles) was not — his cape flows in slow motion as he slowly sinks deeper into the ocean. Watch the video above for other big scenes from the film.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team