Spartacus Will Recast Lead Role

Posted October 4th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Spartacus is the first breakout hit original series for home network Starz, so the news that the title actor Andy Whitfield would have to go back into treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma hit hard on two fronts. Not only was it sad news as it had been believed he was in remission after initial treatment that delayed production on season two, but the network was put into a tough position on how to proceed with the show. They could either end it or recast it, and obviously neither of those options were particularly ideal.

A casting notice has gone out from Starz for the role: “Caucasian male in his mid to late 30s to play the “smart, intense, passionate” title role. Interested parties must have an authentic British accent and be prepared to sign a three-year contract.” So it now appears the decision has been made to go on with the show, and certainly getting Whitfield’s blessing to continue it played a big part in that.

The role of Spartacus will surely be central to the show, but I wonder if some of the focus won’t shift to another character maybe even that of Crixus. The prequel Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, was filmed in that delay period, and actually features a cameo from Whitfield. That is set to premiere in January and centers on the rise of the House of Batiatus.