Earlier this week, the creator, writer, and Executive Producer behind the amazing franchise of Spartacus, Steven S. DeKnight, took some time to chat with journalists. He had so many wonderful insights into the newest installment, Spartacus: Vengeance. He discussed the reason why certain characters must meet their demise, the plans for our favorite characters, and so many other fabulous insights.
Just to prepare you for the rest of the interview, here’s a brief synopsis of what this new installment is all about. Basically, it’s just purely epic.
On the heels of the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the gladiator rebellion continues and begins to strike fear into the heart of the Roman Republic in Spartacus: Vengeance. Gaius Claudius Glaber and his Roman troops are sent to Capua to crush the growing band of freed slaves that Spartacus leads before it can inflict further damage. Spartacus is presented the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man that condemned his wife to slavery and eventual death, or making the larger sacrifices necessary to keep his budding army from breaking apart. Containing all of the blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, villainy, and heroism that has come to distinguish the series, the tale of Spartacus resumes in epic fashion.
Just reading that is exciting, isn’t it? Keep up the excitement by jumping ahead to read the interview.
On the decisions surrounding character deaths
Steven S. DeKnight: There’s always a question on this show [of which] characters literally get the axe. I think really ultimately for me it is always how is the story best served by a character death. I don’t ever want somebody to just die. It needs to have ramifications either emotionally or towards the plot. So that’s always the number one driving force of who do I kill.
And do I miss people? I don’t regret killing anyone, but of course, you know, John Hannah, number one. His presence was just so fantastic on the show and he was such a joy to work with and write for. You know, he’s definitely had to go, but that was a painful one.
[Note from Megan: Painful? That's an understatement. I understand it serves the story, but I loved Batiatus. He is by far my favorite for quotes from the show. That said, there is something to be admired about a show where no one is safe. The story comes first, and that's why this show is as amazing as it is.]
On how Liam stepping in as Spartacus
Steven: What drew us to Liam is that we didn’t want to try to duplicate (Andy). I mean, that will never happen. He was such a singular, amazing talent. But we wanted to find somebody that had the same base qualities of compassion. And I told all the actors when they auditioned that even though Spartacus may fly into a rage now and then, he never comes from a place of anger, it’s always from a place of a wounded heart. And we really felt like Liam captured that essence.