Starz is not letting little things like the death of the actor portraying Spartacus to derail its Spartacus television series. As has been well-documented on these interwebs, Andy Whitfield died in September of the non-Hodgkin lymphoma that had been fought into remission the previous year. During his fight, Starz took the admirable step of continuing the series in prequel form in order to give the actor time to recover. When the cancer returned though, with Whitfield’s blessing, they replaced him in the role with a new actor, Liam McIntyre, for the next season of the series.
They’ve entitled the new series “Spartacus: Vengeance” both as a nod to the change in lead, and the change in chapter. That’s a rare creative decision in the industry, but one I’ve always liked. These things called season 1, season 2 deserve a name for posterity, just like volumes of a larger story.
Here’s the official summary of the new season:
On the heels of the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the gladiator rebellion continues and begins to strike fear into the heart of the Roman Republic in Spartacus: Vengeance. Gaius Claudius Glaber and his Roman troops are sent to Capua to crush the growing band of freed slaves that Spartacus leads before it can inflict further damage. Spartacus is presented the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man that condemned his wife to slavery and eventual death or making the larger sacrifices necessary to keep his budding army from breaking apart. Containing all of the blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, and villainy and heroism that has come to distinguish the series, the tale of Spartacus resumes in epic fashion.
Trailer below, looking almost indistinguishable from a quality action video game:
The new season begins airing at the end of January, though no word yet on whether it will be for XBox or Playstation.