According to Variety, Warner Bros. is backing the bigscreen adaptation of Miller's hyper-stylized graphic novel 300, a ferocious, spear-splashed retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fought to the death against an overwhelming force of invading Persians, sowing the seeds of democracy.

The studio says it's going to remain true to Miller's dark and violent renderings in bringing the book to life, just as Dimension did with Sin City; that virtually guarantees an R rating.

Relying on Miller's graphic novel, director Zach Snyder, himself an artist on the side, drew the storyboards. When lensing begins Oct. 17 in Montreal, Snyder will shoot virtually the entire movie with star Scottish thesp Gerard Butler and other actors in front of a green screen, the same process Robert Rodriguez used on Sin City.

(Warners was eager to give Butler the role of Leonidas, so he wouldn't be typecast by domestic auds for his leading role in the studio's Phantom of the Opera.)

"Zach Snyder takes the sandals out of the movie completely, so to speak. It's not going to feel like anything before," says Atmosphere Pictures' Mark Canton, who is producing the movie with Hollywood Gang Prods.' Gianni Nunnari, along with Bernie Goldmann and Jeffrey Silver.