Liam McIntyre Debuts as Spartacus in SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE Friday, January 27 at 10pm ET/PT on Starz

Spartacus: Blood and Sand premiered on STARZ in January 2010, and quickly became one of the most talked about shows on television. The first season ended in an explosive finale, “Kill Them All,” as Spartacus led a brutal rampage at the House of Batiatus that more than fulfilled the promise of the episode’s title.

Spartacus: Vengeance begins just a few weeks after that massacre. Capua is in an uproar. The gladiators have escaped and formed an uneasy alliance. Spartacus wants to exact revenge on the man responsible for killing his wife, but he will soon understand his life is about something greater than avenging Sura’s death. His mission is to build an army, set free the slaves and topple the Roman Empire. STARZ Originals newest series Spartacus: Vengeance, premieres Friday, January 27th at 10pm ET, only on STARZ.

Australian actor Liam McIntyre (Ektopos, Radev, “Neighbours,” “The Pacific”) assumes the title role of Spartacus in this next chapter of the acclaimed series. McIntyre is joined by returning favorites: Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Battlestar Galactica”) as Lucretia; Peter Mensah (Avatar, 300, The Incredible Hulk) as Oenomaus – once known as Doctore; Manu Bennett (The Marine, 30 Days of Night), as Crixus; Dustin Clare (“Underbelly,” “Satisfaction”) as Gannicus; Nick E. Tarabay (“Crash,” “CSI: Miami”) as Ashur; and Katrina Law (“Third Watch”) as Mira.

Season two also brings the return of Blood and Sand cast members, Craig Parker (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Gaius Cladius Glaber, the Roman commander who condemned Spartacus to slavery, and his alluring and cunning wife Ilithyia (Accidents Happen), played by Viva Bianca. Actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson (“Dirt”) joins the series as Naevia, the former body slave to Lucretia who was banished from the Ludus for engaging in a love affair with Crixus.

Premiering exclusively on STARZSpartacus: Vengeance is produced by executive producers Rob Tapert (The Grudge, “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”), Steven S. DeKnight (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man and The Evil Dead), and Joshua Donen (The Quick and the Dead). This same conceptual creative team behind the highly anticipated Spartacus: Vengeance also produced the first two installments of the series: season one, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and the prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.

About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R) brands with approximately 19 million and 32.9 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group.
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via Starz Press Release

SPARTACUS Renewed for Season Three

The most celebrated STARZ Originals franchise, Spartacus, will continue to wow audiences worldwide with a renewal secured for a thrilling and bloody third season. The green light comes well in advance of Spartacus: Vengeance, which will debut exclusively on STARZFriday, January 27, 2012 at 10PM ET/PT.

As yet untitled, production on the third season of Spartacus is expected to begin in New Zealand in early 2012.
Starz Media Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik commented, “There is no denying the impact Spartacus has had in the marketplace with fans across the globe thirsting for the continuation of the epic tale. ‘Vengeance brings unparalleled action and drama to STARZ viewers in January. We are thrilled to come to an early agreement that allows the writers and talent to get right back to work in preparing for season three.”

“Many surprises are in store for ‘Vengeance’ viewers this year, but rest assured the multi-layered plot and richly developed characters will continue to be a trademark of this series,” said Rob Tapert, executive producer. “It’s incredibly gratifying to see how the story has resonated so well with viewers worldwide.”

“The executives at Starz have been extremely supportive in giving us creative freedom and allowing us to tell the story in a rich, yet bold way that leaves an indelible mark on its fans,” added Steven S. DeKnight, executive producer.

The most recent chapter of Spartacus was the prequel, ‘Gods of the Arena,’ which ran in January 2011 and averaged an estimated 6.2 million total viewers per episode across all linear channels and on-demand viewing.

Australian actor Liam McIntyre (Ektopos, Radev, “Neighbours,” “The Pacific”) assumes the title role of Spartacus in “Vengeance.”  McIntyre is joined by returning favorites: Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Battlestar Galactica”) as Lucretia; Peter Mensah (Avatar, 300, The Incredible Hulk) as Oenomaus – once known as Doctore; Manu Bennett (The Marine, 30 Days of Night), as Crixus; Dustin Clare (“Underbelly,” “Satisfaction”) as Gannicus; Nick E. Tarabay (“Crash,” “CSI: Miami”) as Ashur; and Katrina Law (“Third Watch”) as Mira.

Season two also brings the return of “Blood and Sand” cast members, Craig Parker (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Gaius Claudius Glaber, the Roman commander who condemned Spartacus to slavery, and his alluring and cunning wife Ilithyia played by Viva Bianca (Accidents Happen) . Actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson (“Dirt”) joins the series as Naevia, the former body slave to Lucretia who was banished from the Ludus for engaging in a love affair with Crixus.

Premiering exclusively on STARZ, Spartacus: Vengeance is produced by executive producers Rob Tapert (The Grudge, “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”), Steven S. DeKnight (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man and The Evil Dead), and Joshua Donen (The Quick and the Dead). “Spartacus” is distributed internationally by Starz Media Worldwide Distribution.

About Starz Media
Starz Media, LLC, is a programming production and distribution company operating worldwide. It includes the Anchor Bay Entertainment, Anchor Bay Films, Film Roman and Manga Entertainment brands. Its units create animated and live-action programming and programming created under contract for other media companies. It distributes that content, and programming acquired from outside producers, through home video retailers, broadcasters, ad-supported and premium television channels, and Internet and wireless video distributors in the US and internationally. Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com) is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).
 
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 16 premium channels including the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® brands with approximately 19 million and 32.9 million subscribers respectively.  Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands.  Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).

SPARTACUS Star, Andy Whitfield, Has Died — He Was A Champion!

Shocking news as we find that Andy Whitfield, who played the title role in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has died at age 39! He fought off non-Hodgkin lymphoma in early 2010, was announced “cancer-free” by his physicians in June 2010, having it lapse last September and then having resumed treatment. He lost the battle on Sunday in Sydney, Australia.

“On a beautiful sunny Sydney spring morning, surrounded by his family, in the arms of his loving wife, our beautiful young warrior Andy Whitfield lost his 18 month battle with lymphoma cancer,” Whitfield’s wife Vashti said. “He passed peacefully surrounded by love. Thank you to all his fans whose love and support have help carry him to this point. He will be remembered as the inspiring, courageous and gentle man, father and husband he was.”

Andy Whitfield was born in Wales and moved to Australia in 1999. His previous credits include Australian TV shows “Packed to the Rafters,” “McLeod’s Daughters,” Gabriel and The Clinic paved the way to his role as the legendary Thracian slave in Spartacus. Whitfield appeared in all 13 episodes of the first season and was preparing to shoot the second season until he was diagnosed with cancer.

The network was hoping for Whitfield to recover and continue on for season 2 and produced a six-part prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, in the mean time. It aired earlier this year with a brief voice-over from him, but as Whitfield’s condition grew worse, they announced that Australian actor Liam McIntyre would take over the role.

Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht had the following to say about Andy. “We are deeply saddened by the detriment of our dear crony and colleague, Andy Whitfield. We were advantageous to have worked with Andy in Spartacus and came to know that the male who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life. Andy was an impulse to all of us as he faced this really personal conflict with courage, strength and grace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this formidable time. He will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and fans.”

On Twitter, Spartacus creator Steven DeKnight said “No words to express the depth of such a loss. You will be deeply missed, my brother.”

From Entertainment Weekly, Whitfield’s Spartacus co-star Lucy Lawless also paid tribute to him: “Obviously, Andy Whitfield left an indelible mark on all of us in the Spartacus family. He was a gentle man who never said a bad word about anyone, a gifted photographer, engineer (no really!) and a brilliant actor. Andy’s incandescent film presence made men want to be him and women want to marry him. Andy’s  two babies will always know that their Daddy cherished them and their mother, Vashti, above all things. How lucky we were to have him grace all our lives. Godspeed, Andy!”