Starz Makes it Official: Liam McIntyre is the New Spartacus

After a lot of debate among the fanbase and rumors about what the Starz Network will do next now that star Andy Whitfield won’t be returning as Spartacus in the second season of the breakthrough hit “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”, the network has finally made it official: Liam McIntyre, who was the last man standing when actors were screen-tested for the role months ago, has officially landed the gig.

Australian film and TV actor Liam McIntyre has excelled at a grueling and rigorous audition process to claim the title role in the second season of Starz’ hit franchise, “Spartacus,” Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht announced today.

McIntyre takes over the role of the Thracian warrior sold into slavery in the Roman Republic city of Capua – where he rises to become the champion of the city – before leading the slave revolt that ended Season 1. The part was played in the first season of “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” by Andy Whitfield, who was forced to leave the show in order due to health issues. Whitfield gave his blessing to the recasting.

“Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly lead ‘Spartacus’ forward,” Albrecht notes. “It was important to us to have Andy endorse the idea of recasting this part, which he did in the same heroic manner that he’s dealt with his whole ordeal. And that, coupled with our fortune in finding a young actor with the gladiator credentials and the acting ability of Liam, makes it easier for us to keep this hit franchise going.”

Liam McIntyre made his mark in his native Australia on such series as “Neighbours,” and “Rush.” He also appeared in the HBO mini-series “The Pacific.” He recently completed his first feature starring role in the independent film Frozen Moments. McIntyre is currently in New Zealand, getting himself into gladiator shape in order to take on that iconic role.

With “Gods of the Arena”, the Spartacus prequel mini-series gearing up for a six-episode run, the second season of “Spartacus” will resume production by Spring of 2011. Production on the second season was already in full-swing last year when Whitfield was forced to withdraw for personal health reasons.