If you've been dying for some word, any word, on the inevitable '300' follow-up, we have a semi-scoop from a lovable but unlikely source. NY Mag's Vulture indicates that Warner Bros. may be preparing to hand the project over to Guy Ritchie ('Snatch,' 'Sherlock Holmes') and not to '300' helmer Zack Snyder, who has 'Sucker Punch' on the way, as well as a brand-new 'Superman' project to call his own.

The Vulture report also offers all sorts of theories* on why Ritchie may get to helm 'Xerxes' over Snyder: 1) WB is worried about getting 'Superman' into production soon for contractual reasons; 2) early test screenings on 'Sucker Punch' were allegedly unkind; 3) Snyder's last two flicks (the owl one and the naked blue superhero one) didn't perform as well as expected. But it's probably just a case of Mr. Snyder being very busy, Mr. Ritchie (aside from post-production on 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows') being ... not as busy, and the studio wanting a profitable '300' sequel soon, goshdarnit! There's a big July release date with Xerxes' name just waiting for it!

*(No offense to Vulture, but we take test-screening smackdown reports with a grain of salt around here. For all we know, some overzealous newbie intern from Paramount / Universal / Fox could be spreading nasty rumors just to be a wise-ass.)

Update (2/17/10): A report from Entertainment Weekly: "Reports that the Sherlock Holmes director had been formally offered the job are "an erroneous rumor," according to (a WB) rep."