‘Spartacus’ Prequel Announced with Lucy Lawless and John Hannah
While we eagerly await next week’s upfront announcements to see which of our favorite genre shows survive or vanish, one series has figured out their next step. During production of Starz Network’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, its title star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. As he undergoes treatment in New Zealand, there remained question as to how long it would be before the second season could begin production.
The producers came up with a clever filler by striking a deal to produce a six-part prequel that would require no more than a cameo from Whitfield. Instead, the focus will be on the randy pair played by Lucy Lawless and John Hannah as the story chronicles the rise of the House of Batiatus in the days before Spartacus arrived as a captured Thracian slave.
The producers, writers, and production crew will continue with their roles while a new actor will be added to play the pre-Crixus champion. Production will start this spring with Starz scheduled to air the series beginning in January 2011.