While the word "epic" probably isn't quite right when it comes to describing the journey taken to get to the third season of Starz's Spartacus, which debuts on January 27th, it isn't far off either. After becoming a surprise hit for the cable network, the show had to deal with the news that star Andy Whitfield was stricken with cancer. While waiting for Whitfield to recover, the show's co-creators Steven DeKnight and Rob Tapert decided on very short notice to shoot a six episode prequel in order to maintain the show's momentum.
Tragically, Whitfield never recovered, and that left the show having to face the difficult chore of recasting the lead role of Spartacus, something DeKnight did with the blessing of Whitfield who wanted Spartacus to go on.
During last summer's Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, AfterElton had the chance to get some face time with DeKnight, as well as Liam McIntyre who is taking over the titular role after the passing of Whitfield. They had a lot to say about the upcoming season.
AfterElton: Previously we talked about [how] this season might have a gay villain. Is that going to happen?
Steven DeKnight: No. It was — I think I can reveal this — when we were originally 13 episodes, we had plans that Gaius Claudius Glaber was actually going to be bisexual. But then when we went and shrunk it down to 10 episodes, we realized there wasn't enough room to explore that. It felt like an odd tack on. So I'm still very much interested in exploring a bisexual character. In hopefully the season after this one, we’ll be able to make that happen.
AE: Any gay characters in this season?
AE: Anything you can give me a hint about?
SDK: No, I can't. I can't on this one.
Liam McIntyre: It's good though. Surprised me.
AE: Male or female?
AE: Fine, tease us.
SDK: With the gay relationship this season, I was really interested in exploring kind of a deeper love. It’s almost like a tender romantic...
LM: You really get time to see it...
SDK: Yeah. You get to see it from the start.
LM: You can see it bloom.
SDK: Yeah, from the start, where they come into it.
SDK: You see it start. I think we lay a lot of great groundwork for it this season and then next season I want to explore it even deeper.