Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Starz has renewed Spartacus for a third season.

The swords-and-sandals series will begin production on the as yet untitled third run early next year in New Zealand.

“There is no denying the impact Spartacus has had in the marketplace with fans across the globe thirsting for the continuation of the epic tale,” Starz Media managing director Carmi Zlotnik said.

“The executives at Starz have been extremely supportive in giving us creative freedom and allowing us to tell the story in a rich, yet bold way that leaves an indelible mark on its fans,” said Spartacus showrunner Steven S. DeKnight.

Added Zlotnik: “Vengeanace brings unparalleled action and drama to Starz viewers in January. We are thrilled to come to an early agreement that allows the writers and talent to get right back to work in preparing for Season 3.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Former Spartacus: Blood and Sand actor Andy Whitfield has died, aged 37.

The Australian actor, who featured in the lead role in the Starz series, passed away on Sunday. He had been battling non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Whitfield was diagnosed 18 months ago with the form of cancer, as he was preparing for the second season of the Spartacus series.

Whitfield’s wife Vashti said in a statement that her “beautiful young warrior” passed away on a “sunny Sydney morning” in the “arms of his loving wife”.

Source: Stuff

Australian actor Liam McIntyre has been officially named as the new lead for the second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

The former soap star was today confirmed as Andy Whitfield’s replacement after  a lengthy casting process.

“Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly leadSpartacus forward,” said Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht in a statement. “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.”

McIntyre played Bradley Hewson in Australian soap Neighbours in 2010 as well as appearing in Steven Spielberg’s war epic The Pacific.

Source: EW

Glee’s Harry Shum Jr. and So You Think You Can Dance’s Stephen “tWitch” Boss have paired up in a short film that hit the internet this week.

The talented pair are a part of ‘3 Minutes’, a short film by up and coming American director Ross Ching which is described as an “exciting, non-stop action thriller”.

The film, not surprisingly, is just three minutes in length and also features a cameo from Spartacus: Blood and Sand actress Katrina Law.

Check out the official website here.

Spartacus: Blood & Sand may soon have a new lead with reports the Starz network are looking to recast departed actor Andy Whitfield’s role.

Whitfield unfortunately was forced to leave the series’ second season after a recurrence of his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The Hollywood Reporter says Starz is has started talks with casting directors over the possibility of hiring another actor to play the role of Spartacus.

The leading option is to directly replace Whitfield with a new actor but there is the possibility of centring the series on a new main character.

Whitfield has given his full support for the network to pursue another actor for the role.

Source: Digital Spy

A prequel series to Spartacus: Blood and Sand has been given the green light by Starz.

The six-part prequel series will star John Hannah and Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless as Batiatus and Lucretia respectively.

Due to start shooting in New Zealand this summer, the series will focus on the rise of the House of Batiatus and its champions before Spartacus.

“The prequel story maintains the excitement and entertainment value of the first season of ‘Spartacus,’ giving audiences the engaging experience they’ve come to expect,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.

However the second series of Spartacus has been delayed due to the diagnosis of star Andy Whitfield with cancer.

Albrecht added: “Fortunately, Andy is responding to his treatments, and will be able to be part of this prequel in a limited capacity. As soon as he’s able, we look forward to continuing the Spartacus story.”

Source: THR