I’m Spartacus! Starz Considering Recasting Spartacus


You gotta feel a little bad for the kiddies at the Starz Network. Their one runaway break-out hit, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”, and before they can roll out the second season to capitalize on the killer season one finale, the star has to go back to the hospital for more cancer treatment. (Read all about “Spartacus” star Andy Whitfield’s medical travails here.)

Now with their star unavailable for the immediate future (and possibly for longer than that), the network is exploring other possibilities to keep the show alive. The biggest gamble? Recasting the role of Spartacus with a new actor.

Whitfield is said to be cool with getting recast on the show, since he seems to have accepted that he won’t be coming back to the role anytime soon, if ever. And with the “Spartacus” prequel mini-series “Gods of the Arena” about to wrap up production, the network has about eight weeks to decide what to do with the second season. Fire everyone, delay production again, or simply move on with a new actor in the role?

There is a second, though more unlikely option, and that’s to fashion the show around a new central character. That, though, is a longshot, and wouldn’t make much sense unless they plan to change the title of the show. As I said pervious, a “Spartacus” show without Spartacus wouldn’t be, well, “Spartacus”.

But at this point, it’s either recast or reshape the show. The only other option would be to shut down production and move on, which wouldn’t make much sense from a business point of view, and TV is, lest you forget, a very expensive business. It’s hard enough getting a hit show on the air, who in their right mind voluntarily cancels a hit show when it hasn’t even hit its strides yet?

Which leaves the question: would you watch a “Spartacus” show without Andy Whitfield? Or is the show the thing, not the actor?

You, too, can be Spartacus.

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/BZBUOXY42MWKDTFMTQIXVNUB24 Dominique

    This saddens me greatly. I saw Andy in “Gabriel” back in 2007, and was privilaged to watch his star rise on “Spartacus”. He was easily becoming one of my favorite actors and I was looking forward to him coming back for the second season. Purely from that stabdpoint, I say shut down production and wait for, hopefully, a dose of luck and good news. However, yes it is a risky move and the more sensible option would be to recast the role. RESHAPING the focus of the show would make this not-Spartacus anymore, and seeing as how that’s the brand name I don’t think they’ll do that. I have no idea who they would cast as the new Spartacus, but it’s gonna be hard (at least for me) seeing anybody else but Andy in the role. Here’s hoping.

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

      I agree totally. Hey hpw was that “Gabriel” flick? It looked like an updated “Prophecy” type flick, but I hadn’t heard anything good about it. and By the way do you post on Supperbuddies.net as well?

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

      I agree totally. Hey hpw was that “Gabriel” flick? It looked like an updated “Prophecy” type flick, but I hadn’t heard anything good about it. and By the way do you post on Supperbuddies.net as well?

  • xena2celine

    I LOVE this show… but they can’t recast Spartacus. I say stop worrying about the show and worry about Andy. But i’m so gonna miss the show!!! First Legend of the Seeker now this!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z7546NQ5ZXFHS6G5AVECRYREAY THE MAN

    Andy is/was SPARTACUS! They should just rename it and go a different direction in story every season ender until Andy returns or doesnt. Ex: The Chronicles of Spartacus Presents:?

  • ExParror

    There’s a simple solution.

    You make a season about what the effect that Spartacus escaping and being free has on the republic at large, the other characters that we already know (Crixus, Doctore, Lucretia etc), and brand new ones that we don’t yet know. Center the whole season around the effect of Spartacus being free in the world, and the various personal and political repurcussions of that, without actually showing Spartacus himself or things from his point of view. Then if Andy can (hopefully) return for season three, you can show the flip side of things, and return the focus to being centered on Spartacus himself. And after a season of hearing about the growing legend of Spartacus, we could now witness what the reality behind that legend actually is.

    And if Andy still isn’t healthy, and very clearly can’t return to the show at that point, then you recast as necessary, perhaps with a slightly older, more grizzled actor, who would then be easier to accept in taking over the role (as long as they did the role justice) as fans will have had all that time without Andy/Spartacus being front and centre, and will also know that everyone waited as long as humanly possible for Andy to return, but it just wasn’t to be. So then worst case scenario and you still can’t have Andy’s return, you at least have an easier transition to a new actor taking over the role, largely free of fan backlash, and also free of the burden of having Andy playing the role one minute, and some new guy the next when transitioning from the end of season 1 to the start of season 2.

    That’s what I’d do anyway…

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

      Not a bad idea at all.

  • Annie

    I can’t believe that you guys would even consider Wentworth Millere as Spartacus you have got to be kidding If you recast him, or anyone else the show will be a big flop, is that what you want after the success of season 1?. Just have the sequel turn into 12 episodes, or more and wait for him to recover. Dexter waited for Michael C. Hall to get better and he did. Gene Wilder recovered from same cancer in 2003. If you think that you can ‘t wait for the star of the show well shame on you, I think the other actors would rather have a hit than a miss. A very truthful fan of Andys and the show. Please wait for him.