The following article appeared in IL Tempo - Nazionale newspaper on 19 July 2011 in Italian. Barbara Bruno graciously took the time to translate the article.
The series directed by Zac Snyder and produced by Sam Raimi will tell the origins in six episode from August 25.
Spartacus: Blood and Arena for the superstar gladiator.
By Dina D'Isa
It's coming on Sky 1(from August 25 in six episodes) the prequel: Spartacus Gods of The Arena, six episodes centered on the deeds of the ambitious Batiatus, husband of the beautiful Lucretia(John Hannah), centered on the previous years before his rise as the notorious master of Capua.
In the background it appears again the statuary Andy Whitfield as Spartacus, before the Welsh Actor was forced to leave the set to cure a rare form of Lynphoma. But in the true new second season, that should air beginning 2012, the young star will pass the baton to the apollonian Liam McIntyre.
In the prequel the gladiators will keep battling on, while Batiatus, (guru of the capuan school of gladiators where Spartacus will go) will flounder between the political imbalances of Capua and the intemperances of the instictive Gannicus, often more dedicated to the plaisures of the Ludus than following with respect his master.
Once again, the series dusts off the historical peplum to revisit Ancient Rome in a mix of cinema, comic book style, pulp, explicit sex and lots of blood.
The series, directed by Zac Snyder(I don't think it is accurate) (Director of the unforgettable 300) and produced by Sam Raimi(Directors of the 3 Spiderman Movies), is been a huge success in more than 80 countries worldwide and the new prequel is been just shown to The Ischia Global Film Festival.
The famous slave, become the most famous gladiator of Rome, and the universal simbol of every indestructible people that from the mud resurrect as heroes, has an incredible visual impact, to whom is very difficult to resist.
The civil wars of Appiano of Alessandria, the lives of Pompeii and Crassus, or of Plutarc, who at the thracian slave that in 75 BC was capable of leading an important slave revolt, have dedicated extraordinary pages, in the series they begun only a launching point.
Or better, a narrative pretext to commemorate the excesses and provocations, between blood and sands, of the Ludus of Capua, animated by the spectacular technology of the third millenium.
Love and betrayal, sex and friendship, political intrigues and feral plots, are the humus of the main characters, almost all the same as the original series. Lucy Lawless stars as Lucretia, manipulative and unconventional roman woman; Manu Bennet as Crixus, while Leslie-Ann Brandt, is the fascinating Naevia. And there is a new entry: Jamie Murray as Gaia, long friend of Lucretia, that brings in Capua some vices and leisures not really moral.
Dustin Clare plays Gannicus, the first gladiator that becomes the first champion of the Ludus and whose fame of invincible fighter goes hand in hand with the one of a rebel man and vicious, lover of women and wine.
The series is a funny and compelling mix between the legends of the Ancient Rome and the innovations of a visionary pop culture: "The themes are suitable for adult viewers, those one who don't get easily shocked, but instead find that some choices make the series more realistic and complex." Raimi recently explained.
The Comic Book style review of this series make the scenes of sex and blood secondary compared to the plot, the rebirth of Spartacus and the esciting drama: he fights in the arena as a true gladiator not caring about his own life, and in his head just one mission: Win!
Translated by Barbara Bruno from the original Italian copy