‘Spartacus’ Season Three Gets A Whole Lot Hotter By Adding Anna Hutchison, Jenna Lind, & Gwen Taylor

Filming has already begun in New Zealand for the international sword and sandal hit-show, Spartacus and the cast is adding Anna Hutchison (Cabin in the Woods, Underbelly: Tale of Two Cities), Jenna Lind (Burning Man) and Gwendoline Taylor (Go Girls) as regulars in the upcoming season.

anna hutchison spartacusjenna lind spartacusgwen taylor spartacus

Here is the description of their roles as provided by Starz:

Laeta (Hutchison) is the privileged wife of a Roman dignitary who becomes entangled in the struggle against Spartacus. Her life and those of the ones she loves are forever changed by the conflict.

Kore (Lind) is a loyal slave to Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells), the Roman tasked to bring an end to Spartacus and his rebellion. Her deep feelings for her master will be sorely tested by spiraling events.

Sibyl (Taylor) is a beautiful young slave rescued from Roman cruelty. Now free, she will embark on a journey that will touch the lives of key leaders in the rebellion.

It appears these ladies are going to be heavily integrated in the mix this season and have themes of devotion, freedom, and enslavement as it pertains to the world around Spartacus who wants to build an army for war. The Starz original series has never had a shortage of hot men and women, but Hutchison, Lind and Taylor are certainly going to turn up the heat even more. Agron, Nasir, Saxa, Lugo, Crixus could all be fair game in Season 3. Will any of them fall? Quite possibly; if we know one thing about Spartacus, blood will be spilled.

Spartacus stars Liam J. McIntyre as the title character and is executive produced by 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: Vengeance’ Episode 2.05 Review: Libertus – Spartacus Does what Most Shows Don’t

After watching the newest episode of Spartacus: Vengeance this past Friday, I thought for a moment I had just witnessed the season finale. Just think for a moment of all the pivotal character and plot-driven moments that occurred in “Libertus.”

Most shows would have waited until the season finale for Glaber to eliminate Illyria’s chance of a divorce by killing Albinius. Most would have given us a few weeks of her plotting and trying to fool her husband into thinking everything was fine.

Most shows would have perhaps re-introduced Gannicus, but would have waited for the finale for him to meet Spartacus face-to-face and finally have it out with Oenomaus.

Most shows would have spent weeks with Crixus and Spartacus apart, thereby killing all momentum that is fermenting their trust and faith in one another since “Kill Them All.”

And some shows would have given us a few weeks of Lucretia and Alibinius sex—and thank you especially for not giving us that, creator Steven DeKnight.

But Spartacus: Vengeance isn’t most shows. And Steven DeKnight isn’t like most show-runners and creators.
(Oh, and did I mention Spartacus and his crew burn the arena to the ground?!)

Like The Vampire Diaries, the team behind Spartacus: Vengeance isn’t afraid to drop season-finale worthy game changers at the end of episode five of a season, or even in the middle of the episode itself. That’s what makes it so entertaining. But what makes it so strong, is that it’s done at the service of the characters, not vice versa.

When they did the prequel Gods of the Arena and introduced a new main character, Gannicus, most viewers were wondering how he would die. Otherwise, why hadn’t he appeared in Spartacus: Blood and Sand? Of course, he wound up not only surviving the six episode series, but he was granted his freedom.

What did he choose to do with that freedom? Have meaningless sex—of course, this IS Spartacus we are talking about. And help end the lives of his former brothers in the arena. That’s where he meets Oenomaus, who had since learned from Ashur that his best friend had betrayed him, and laid with his wife on the night of her death.

At first, I was upset that the re-appearance of Gannicus was ruined in last week’s preview at the end of the episode. And then we find out he’s re-introduced within the opening minutes before we get a “24 Hours Earlier” title card.

Glaber, who I’ve never really loved as a bad guy – certainly not the way I did with Batiatus and his father – finally came into his own this episode, becoming a true villain for Spartacus to face, but one that you still felt a twing of heartbreak for—I mean, Illythia was plotting an abortion after all. He may have gleefully murdered his father-in-law, but it was no means simply a matter of right time, right place. Instead, he was driven to that decision as everyone around him (especially Albinius) was scheming to strip him of the honor he so felt he deserved.

So where do we go from here? For starters, looks like we won’t get arena battle fights for awhile. (Sidenote: did Spartacus not care about the innocent lives that perished? Or did he view the people that previously cheered him on in the arena as his enemy?) Gannicus and Oenamanus are still going to need to work out their problems. Crixus now should value Spartacus more than anything—first saving Naevia and them himself, at great cost to himself. So will he now help Spartacus achieve the vengeance he seeks? Or will Gannicus try to assert himself as a leader? And what is Glaber’s next move as he seemingly is holding all the cards—something that it appeared Lucretia seemed in command of so short a time ago?

Either way… I couldn’t be more excited for the next episode…

*Photos courtesy of Starz

Alan Danzis is a lifelong TV watcher, especially of serialized dramas. In his top five list of all time, you’ll find The Shield, The Wire, Deadwood, Lost and Friday Night Lights. (He’s not sure where Mad Men and Breaking Bad go yet since they haven’t finished airing.) But his favorite thing to watch are the sci-fi shows, like Battlestar Galactica, anything British and sci-fi, and shows with vampires. He even put up with Terra Nova, because, well, it had dinosaurs and time travel–you had him at just one of those things. If you can stand his nerdy interests, you can follow him on Twitter at @adanzis.

Full Disclosure: Alan Danzis works at Ketchum Public Relations, which is his day job. His opinions here are his own and do not reflect the opinions of Ketchum, nor the clients Ketchum works with. His BuzzFocus.com writing is wholly unrelated.

Spartacus Co-Creator Steven DeKnight Signs Exclusive 2-Year Development Deal with Starz

Fans of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Gods of the Arena and the 2012’s upcoming Spartacus: Vengeance will be delighted to know that Spartacus co-creator Steven DeKnight has just inked an exclusive two-year deal with Starz. This deal adds on to DeKnight’s existing three-year deal with the cable network.

“Steven is a rare talent who we want to stay in business with,” says Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz. “We are thrilled this incredible creative partnership will continue for years to come.”

“The creative support and unparalleled freedom that Chris Albrecht, Carmi Zlotnik, Marta Fernandez and the entire Starz team have given me has been deeply appreciated,” says DeKnight. “It is a rare, wonderful opportunity to collaborate with an emerging network on forging their identity in scripted programming. I look forward to continuing this incredibly rewarding relationship. I would also like to thank my producing partners on Spartacus, Rob Tapert, Joshua Donen, and Sam Raimi, for placing their trust in an unproven showrunner. Without them and the tireless efforts of my agents Chris Harbert and Tom Young at CAA, none of this phenomenal good fortune would have been possible.”

Liam McIntyre Takes Over as Spartacus in Starz Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 2

Australian film and TV actor Liam McIntyre will be taking over the role of Spartacus in Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 2 from Andy Whitfield. Whitfield, who was forced to leave the show after Season 1 due to health issues, gave Liam his blessing on the recasting. 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.

“Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly lead ‘Spartacus’ forward,” Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris 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.”

Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 2 is Set to Begin in New Zealand by Spring 2011.

The six-episode prequel to Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena premieres on Friday, Jan 21st at 10pm ET/PT on Starz. The prequel stars Dustin Clare, as the charismatic and self-destructive gladiator Gannicus, joins Hannah, Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah and Manu Bennett.

SDCC 2010: Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Let the San Diego Comic Con 2010 announcements begin. Starz hit show, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, is coming back to SDCC.

Andy Whitfield (Spartacus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), John Hannah (Batiatus), Viva Bianca (Ilythia), and Executive Producer and Head Writer Steven S. DeKnight will appear on the SDCC panel. The creators and artists will be on hand to discuss the upcoming Spartacus prequel as well as Season 2.

Official Release
spartacusBeverly Hills, Calif. – June 16, 2010 – Fresh from a triumphant first season on the Starz original series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” stars Andy Whitfield (Spartacus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), John Hannah (Batiatus), Viva Bianca (Ilythia), and Executive Producer and Head Writer Steven S. DeKnight will appear on a panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 23. The day ends with a Spartacus-sponsored late night “Wrath of Con” party where the stars will be in attendance.

Whitfield and Bianca’s first San Diego appearance will be joined by Comic-Con veterans Lawless, Hannah and DeKnight. The team will discuss the unique narrative approach to the ancient legend as well as giving the fans a glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming Spartacus prequel, which begins filming in New Zealand this August.

”I’m very excited to be at my first Comic-Con and meet the fans who have made this show an international success,” Whitfield said.

”We’re looking forward to returning to San Diego,” DeKnight added. “When we presented at last year’s Comic-Con, we could tell by the audience reaction that we had something special. This year, with the prequel and season 2 in the works, we have even more to share with the fans.”

“The 2009 Comic-Con kicked off our ‘Spartacus’ marketing campaign,” says Starz EVP, Marketing, Nancy McGee. “We were thrilled at the response, and are excited to bring Andy, Lucy, John and Viva so they can see first-hand the excitement the show has generated from audiences all over the world.”