Sam Raimi is Spartacus! in New TV Series for Starz

Good God, is there a movie franchise or TV show that Sam Raimi isn’t attached to produce or direct or cater at one point or another? Besides Legend of the Seeker, a new fantasy TV show coming out in November, the “Spider-Man” director is also gearing up a new series for the Starz premium cable network based on the 1960 Kirk Douglas movie of the same name. Okay, so maybe the producers aren’t saying their show will be based on the movie, but rather the real Spartacus that led a revolt against Rome back in the day. When announcing the project, the titles “300” and “Sin City” kept coming up. Gee, I wonder why?

THR has more on who is Spartacus:

“Spartacus” was inspired by the real-life slave of the Roman Republic who in 73 B.C. led a slave revolt that grew to more than 120,000 fighters. Starz said the story will be “reimagined” it for what it calls a generation of TV viewers raised on graphic novels and cutting-edge production technology.

“This is not going to be at all like the 1960s Kirk Douglas film,” Shelanski said. “We didn’t want your typical sword-and-sandals. It’s going to be fun, fast-moving, full of action and interesting characters and have a little more depth to it than the 1960s film.”

Shelanski added that the show will be produced specifically for a premium cable audience, with “R-rated” action and storytelling. The goal is to accomplish the graphic-novel look and feel of such movies as “300” and “Sin City.” As with “300,” producers also will be looking to cast “Spartacus” with a group of fresh-faced, unknown actors.

Hamm added that “Spartacus” will be one of the first TV series to use an “almost 100% virtual environment,” using live-action actors against virtual sets in the style of “300” and “Sin City.”

Spartacus has gotten a 13-episode commitment from Starz, and will be produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Joshua Donen. Smallville alum Steven S. DeKnight will run the show for Raimi and company, which means although Sam Raimi’s name will be used to sell the show worldwide, he’ll probably never even set foot on the set.

The best thing about this new show? The promised “R-rated action”. Starz is a premium cable TV channel, which means they can be as bloody and as violent as they want, aka “300” meets Russell Crowe’s “Gladiator” on the small screen. Are you not amused???

Below: “Nice loincloth. Does yours itch? Cause mine really itches…”