Thursday, September 23, 2010

Future of Spartacus in doubt

Spartacus: Blood and Sand was one of those rare shows that improved with every episode. Scenes of graphic sex and violence, the like never seen on TV had audiences hooked right up until the closing credits of it's finale. Then people just wanted more.

A second season of Spartacus was greenlit very early on in the transmission of the first season due to exceptional ratings, but sadly it was thrown into jeopardy due to the fact that main star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer and would need to undergo immediate treatment and thus delayed the scheduling of a second season.

In order to keep audiences bloodlust sated, producers Starz commissioned a 6-part prequel miniseries that would centre on a previously unknown gladiator seeking to become the "Champion of Capua". As it's a prequel, John Hannah and Lucy Lawless could return from the dead with both Peter Mensah [Doctore] and Manu Bennett [Crixus] also appearing. Whitfield will make a cameo appearance as Spartacus as during the summer he was given a clean bill of health.

The miniseries Spartacus: Gods of the Arena will be transmitted in January 2011 and was intended to bridge a gap between Blood and Sand's seasons for audiences until Whitfield could return to film a second season which was to begin filming now. Sadly Whitfield has had a relapse which will require aggressive therapy and thus he will not be able to continue with the series at all.

This statement was released by Starz:

Hopefully they will be able to continue in some form - Crixus: Blood and Sand anyone?

Source: Barry / Vaughan / The Examiner / Deadline Hollywood


vaughan said...

Vaughan dons pipe and corduroy Jacket...Actually in History Crixus was co commander of the slave army that Spartacus fact many believe it was his decisions such as splitting the army into two groups that led to the defeat of the slave revolt(Vaughan begins to blow bubbles fronm his pipe to emphasise the point.)
What will happen to the show?there are only two choices , replace Wilman or cancel the show....granted the Show was a huge hit but and the ending was a game changer but Andy was the bridge to the changes , replace him and will the show survive? the only other times the lead was replced like this is when the actor was killed(Alias Smith and Jones, Cover Up) and although a different era, both shows were quickly cancelled...viewers had identified with the lead (although with cover up the fact it was just Crap with a bonnie tyler song didn't help)
This is the risk the makers must take...will the audience accept a change or will they be happy enough with the gratuitous sex and over the top violence (Cough...the Colonel...cough)to keep watching.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

Any army that has two commanders in equal status is already doomed to failure.

Your examples of having the lead replaced are correct but as you say they were in a different time. Audiences today are more concerned with good acting, writing and flashy special effects over stars. If audiences LOVE THE SHOW then they can accept actors being replaced much more readily nowadays. Larry Fishburne doesn't seem to have had a disatererous effect ofn his CSI show, Stargate SG-1 continued for two years without Richard Dean Anderson and surely you know of a minor little British Sci-Fi show about a time travelling Doctor who changes his appearence [and actor] every several years!!!!.

Whitfield is a loss to the show certainly but not the reason why people watched it. I wish him the best of luck with his health in his future, but The Show Must Go On!