Starz just released a new trailer for the upcoming second season of Spartacus, titled Spartacus: Vengeance. Like previous trailers, the new one highlights the gore and sexuality that have become the series’ trademark. Is it just me or has new Spartacus star Liam McIntyre been transformed to look just like the late Andy Whitfield? Spartacus: Vengeance premieres January 27.
Starz said today that it will air the season premiere of its original series Spartacus: Vengeance on Friday, January 27 at 10 PM. The series continues the storyline begun on Spartacus: Blood And Sand, which debuted in January 2010. That series was a hit but was put on hiatus when star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t continue. During the hiatus, Starz shot and aired the prequel Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena. All three installments were from the same creative team: Rob Tapert, Steven S. DeKnight, Sam Raimi and Joshua Donen. Whitfiield died on September 11, with Liam McIntyre taking over the role of Spartacus.
EXCLUSIVE: Spartacus will not be the only recast role on the second season of Starz’s flagship series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. I hear Lesley-Ann Brandt, who played Naevia, body slave to Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) and lover of Crixus (Manu Bennett) on the first season of the show and in the prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, has decided not to renew her contract and won’t return for season 2. She just started a recurring role on CSI: NY and opted to also pursue broadcast pilots, which are currently casting. The part of Naevia, a fan favorite, will now be recast. Starz is known as being less restrictive in its actors contracts, which allowed Jane Lynch to leave Party Down when she was cast in Fox’s Glee. Season 2 of Spartacus: Blood and Sand will also introduce Liam McIntyre as the new Spartacus. He replaced ailing original star Andy Whitfield. Production on the second season of the sward-and-sandal drama is slated to begin shortly.
The search for a replacement of cancer-stricken Spartacus star Andy Whitfield is over. Australian actor Liam McIntyre has been named the new star of the Starz drama series, which became a breakout hit for the pay cable channel when it first launched a year ago. McIntyre was one of 3 actors who were flown to New Zealand to audition in November. He was the only one that remained in consideration after the test while the network continued to see other candidates. Starz brass reportedly liked his acting abilities but he was asked to bulk up his thin frame in order to pass off as a believable gladiator. In announcing McIntyre’s casting, Starz said he “has excelled at a grueling and rigorous audition process to claim the title role in the second season” of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The series’ prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, debuts on Friday. Here is more from the network’s release:
McIntyre takes over the role of the Thracian warrior sold into slavery in the Roman Republic city of Capua – where he rises to become the champion of the city – before leading the slave revolt that ended Season 1. The part was played in the first season of “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” by Andy Whitfield, who was forced to leave the show in order due to health issues. Whitfield gave his blessing to the recasting.
“Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly lead ‘Spartacus’ forward,” Straz’s CEO Chris Albrecht notes. “It was important to us to have Andy endorse the idea of recasting this part, which he did in the same heroic manner that he’s dealt with his whole ordeal. And that, coupled with our fortune in finding a young actor with the gladiator credentials and the acting ability of Liam, makes it easier for us to keep this hit franchise going.”
EXCLUSIVE: With the long-delayed second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand officially a go, who will replace cancer-stricken Andy Whitfield as Rome’s most famous gladiator? Last Friday, Starz’s boss Chris Albrecht said that the network brass are “confident that we will find an actor who can ably step into Spartacus’ sandals.” I hear that that same day, the pay cable network’s executives had received a screen test for the role done by former Prison Break star Dominic Purcell. Throwing Purcell’s name into the mix is an intriguing proposition. For once, he does have the the physique to pull off a believable gladiator. Australian actor Liam McIntyre is said to still be in serious contention for the role, and he continues to bulk up as the network execs reportedly liked him as an actor in his November screen test but his thin frame was a problem. But last week, rumors started circulating that Starz had also approached a name actor for the part. Purcell has been vacationing in his native Australia, so he put himself on tape there and emailed the clip to Starz brass last Friday. It is not clear what the network’s final decision will be, but if Purcell gets … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE THURSDAY UPDATE: I hear that none of the three actors who screen tested for the Spartacus lead this week, Stephen Amell, Aiden Turner and Liam McIntyre, got the role. However, Starz is still holding onto McIntyre, the Australian, while the other two have been released. He may still get to be the next Spartacus, succeeding the ailing Andy Whitfield. But I hear Starz brass is considering all options for its hit series, including the possibility of ending it or bringing in someone else for the lead. Read More »