In the news from Sparta, Gerard Butler the star of the blockbuster film “300” will be visiting Greece to take part in the 2,500 year anniversary of the Battle of Thermopylae. Butler, who portrayed the legendary King Leonidas, will also run a leg as a torchbearer for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The mayor of Sparta, Mr. Petros Doukas, announced Butler’s participation on Wednesday of this week. The film “300” was directed by Zack Snyder and starred Butler along with Lena Headley playing his wife, Queen Gorgo. The opening day of “300” was one of the most successful openings in Hollywood’s history.
The story revolves around King Leonidas (Gerard Butler), who leads 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian “God-King” Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his invading army of more than 300,000 soldiers. The Battle of Thermopylae is still revered in Western culture as the ultimate symbol of heroic perseverance against seemingly insurmountable odds. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus, widely recognized as the “father of history,” wrote in his detailed record of the Greek-Persian Wars — “The Histories” — that the Persian strength was 5,283,220 men.
The Hollywood star will always be remembered for his cry “This is Sparta!” which has become one of the more iconic lines in film history. Butler told Greek Reporter recently that “300” was the “most intense and enjoyable movie he ever made.”