One of action star Gerard Butler's most famous characters is that of the behemoth king of the Spartans, Leonidas, a character he portrayed in director Zack Snyder's bloody historical epic 300. Well, the actor has brought Leonidas back to life for a brief moment while giving a speech in the Ancient Greek city of Sparta to celebrate the upcoming Olympic Games.

"How can you make a movie that explains how the Spartan code became a byword, became synonymous for a way of life. For a standard set so high that generations of warriors would follow it. From Romans right up to modern times, the US special forces, across the world, when people look to heroism you Spartans set the standard. I stand on the ground of a thousand heroes. I stand here as a man profoundly changed by your courage and your history. This is holy ground. This is the land of legends. THIS IS SPARTA!"
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Proving in no uncertain terms that Gerard Butler does, indeed, still have it, the actor delivered the iconic line that his character screams at an invader before kicking him down an endless pit. All done in super-slow-motion, of course. It is by far the actor's most famous line of dialogue, and it is great to see him resurrect it for this speech, with the crowd obviously loving it. Where better to belt out the line once more than in Sparta, standing underneath the statue of the king he portrayed in 300.

In the speech, Butler paid tribute to the historical legacy of the Spartans. He talked about how people continue to look up to them as symbols of heroism and he has been profoundly changed by their courage. It was an empowering speech that Leonidas himself surely would have been proud of. Gerard Butler was invited to carry the Olympic torch from Mystras, Greece to Sparta. The torch will continue its journey across the country through to March 19th and will end its journey in Athens on that date.

Due to the ongoing issues surrounding coronavirus, the Olympic games could potentially face cancellation this year. The International Olympic Committee has said that it'd like the worldwide event to still happen, even if it's held without spectators with the committee having asked the athletes to continue to train for their sports ahead of the summer games.

The historical epic 300 was a massive moment in Gerard Butler's career, pushing him into the A-list and making him a bonafide action hero. The actor plays the part so well, in fact, that perhaps he should have just played the same character across all of his movies. A shouting, fighting King Leonidas would certainly have made the Jennifer Anison vehicle The Bounty Hunter a lot more interesting.

300 tells the story of the ancient battle of Thermopylae. King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fight against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. They face insurmountable odds when they are betrayed by a Spartan reject. The movie is based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. The speech was shared on social media by @john_wayne_gr.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge