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For a while there, the Starz network seemed to be wavering about whether they wanted to recast the lead in their hit show “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” after star Andy Whitfield’s battle with cancer forced him to retire from the role. Now, Starz head honcho Chris Albrecht has confirmed that they are indeed going ahead with recasting Spartacus with a new actor. He tells the assembled media hordes over at the TCA last week as such (via Blastr):
This will be the official second season which picks up where we last left Spartacus and his gang of escaped gladiators. We don’t have casting news for you today but the reason that we are announcing the official moving ahead is because we’re very confident that where we are in the casting process will result in finding a lead actor who can ably step into Spartacus’s sandals, although we will never be able to truly replace Andy Whitfield.
We’ve been covering the Starz recasting for a while now, and as you’ll recall, there were initially three candidates for the role, until only actor Liam McIntyre was left standing. Even then, though, it wasn’t a certainty the network would move on with a new actor in the lead. And now that they have made that official, could Liam McIntyre (pictured, right) be your new Spartacus?
In the meantime, you can satiate your Gladiator bloodlust and Roman sex with the six-episode “Spartacus” prequel mini-series, “Gods of the Arena”, set to debut later this month on January 21, 2011. Here’s a trailer: