August 2010 Archives  

25 August 2010

Michael Hurst To Direct Episode 3 of Gods of the Arena

ImageThe super talented Michael Hurst has posted the following on his official site:

August/September 2010: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Michael is directing episode 3 of the 6-episode prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand for Starz Productions




17 August 2010

Aced Magazine Interviews John Hannah - 16 August 2010


Aced Magazine has interviewed John and they have just released the Q&A:

John Hannah returns to Spartacus: Blood and Sand in the season 2 prequel that documents Lentulus Batiatus' early conflicts with this father and the rise of champion gladiators like Crixus and the fall of would-be champion, Asher. In this interview, Hannah provides a glimpse into the second season of this groundbreaking epic series.

Read Interview



13 August 2010

More Spartacus Casting Calls - Actors Wanted

StarNow, a New Zealand casting company is searching for more Spartacus cast

Casting no. 179882 - Auckland, NZ Apply now
We have been the leading agency for Spartacus, American Films & TV Series, which we are casting now! We offer a wide range of audition/acting and stunt/combat training.

We are now casting for Spartacus which has started filming in August, so we are urgently looking for the following:

  • Physically fit and active men and woman such as body builders, sports people and athletes.
  • We are especially interested in European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and African males with an athletic build.

Spartacus requires a wide range of looks, skills, and characteristics. For example:

  • Men and women with Italian, Spanish, French, South American looks or descent.

We are looking for men and women who wish to get involved with the above productions. You must have good availability and reliable transport and aged between 16 and 70 years old.


  • Any gender, aged 16 to 70 from New Zealand Acting experience: Extra / background player, Previous unpaid speaking roles, Previous paid speaking roles
  • Languages spoken: English

Apply now

Created: 11 August 2010
Applications accepted for at least another month

Reported by Barbara Davies



12 August 2010

Cast Bios For New Spartacus: GotA Actors


Dustin Clare plays Gannicus, the champion gladiator of Batiatus’ ludus in “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” a Starz original action-adventure drama series. In the class-conscious world of ancient Capua, the House of Batiatus has not yet earned the respect of local society, or the right for its gladiators to fight in the championship bouts. Gannicus must survive the arena to not only keep his place in the ludus but also rise to become the champion in all of Capua.

Clare recently completed Fred Schepisi’s feature film The Eye of the Storm, opposite Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis and Geoffrey Rush.
Clare starred as Sean in the second and third seasons of “Satisfaction,” where he earned a Logie Award nomination for “Most outstanding Actor” and a Golden Nymph nomination for "Most Outstanding Actor" at the 49th Monte Carlo Television Festival in Monaco. He also played the lead character Riley Ward in the highly popular television drama, “McLeod’s Daughters,” which he won the Logie Award for “Most Popular New Talent.”

His other television appearances include the critically acclaimed second series of “Underbelly” and guest roles in the leading Australian television series “All Saints and Headland.”

Clare graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2004.


Jaime Murray portrays Gaia in “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” a Starz original action-adventure drama series. Gaia is a long time friend of Lucretia on the prowl for a new husband.

Murray is well-established in the UK and previously made her mark starring in the AMC/BBC acclaimed hit “Hu$tle” also starring Adrian Lester and Robert Vaughan. It ran for four seasons abroad and will be made into a feature film with the original cast next Spring.
She completed two other films last year; the British caper “Botched” opposite Stephen Dorff; and the thriller The Deaths of Ian Stone with Mike Vogel.

Previous credits include the role of glamorous model Bianca Minola in the updating of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” with Rufus Sewell, “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” opposite Elliot Gould, and “Keen Eddie” with Sienna Miller.

Murray studied Philosophy and Psychology at London School of Economics before honing her craft at the prestigious method acting school, Drama Centre. She originally came to Hollywood for six weeks to shoot the CBS supernatural drama pilot “Demons” with Ron Eldard, but even though that pilot did not go to series she quickly landed a showcasing role on Showtime's “Dexter” with Michael Hall. She went on to also do the CW series “Valentine” and “Beautiful Life.” Most recently she had a recurring role on Syfy's “Warehouse 13.”

ImageMarisa Ramirez portrays Melitta, the personal slave to Lucretia and wife to Oenomaus in “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” a Starz original action-adventure drama series. She struggles to balance the small portion of freedom she's attained within the confines of the villa, with the cold reality of her very real status as a slave.

Ramirez began her career at age thirteen when one of the top modeling agencies in Los Angeles discovered her Polaroid® snapshot. Soon, she was traveling around the globe as an international fashion model and later returned home to California to pursue acting.

Ramirez played the spirited supermodel Gia Campbell on ABC’s daytime drama “General Hospital,” which earned her a nomination for an NAACP Image Award® and an ALMA Award® as "Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series." Her other television appearances also include a role on ABC’s short-lived but critically hailed investigative drama “Miracles,” FOX’s summer medical drama “Mental,” and she co-hosted MTV’s “Senseless Acts of Video.”

Ramirez has appeared as the lead role in music videos such as “Wild, Wild West” (Will Smith), “American Woman” (Lenny Kravitz), “As Long As You Love Me” (Backstreet Boys) and “Give It to You” (Jordan Knight).
She also volunteers for a variety of philanthropic causes focusing on HIV/AIDS awareness, education, and eradication to animal rescue. She currently resides in Los Angeles, where she was born and raised.

ImageJeffrey Thomas is a Welsh-born New Zealand actor, best known for his television roles. He rose to prominence in New Zealand in the late ‘80s with the lead role of Inspector Brian Finn in the TVNZ police drama series “Shark in the Park,” and is also well-known for his roles in two long-running New Zealand soap operas, “Mercy Peak” and “Shortland Street.” His distinctive voice can be heard narrating a large number of documentaries.

Internationally, Thomas is best known for his roles of Jason in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and narrator in Costa Botes's and Peter Jackson's mockumentary “Forgotten Silver.” Thomas is a graduate of Liverpool University and Oxford University in England. Bilingual in English and Welsh, he is also a writer of dramatic material in both languages. He has scripted several episodes of New Zealand television drama series, and has also written several stage plays, including “Playing the Game,” which has been performed in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Temuera Morrison has become one of New Zealand’s most famous stars for his roles as the abusive Jake "the Muss" Heke in 1994's Once Were Warriors and as bounty hunter Jango Fett and the Clone Troopers in the Star Wars series. He also voiced Boba Fett in the 2004 special edition of Star Wars episodes V and VI.

Morrison, a Maori, was born in the town of Rotorua in the North Island of New Zealand. He attended Wesley College, Auckland. Trained in drama under the New Zealand Special Performing Arts Training Scheme, one of his earliest roles was in the 1988 film Never Say Die, opposite Lisa Eilbacher.

His role in Once Were Warriors won him international acclaim, and he received the 1994 award for best male performance in a dramatic role from the New Zealand Film and TV Awards. He reprised the role in the sequel, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, for which he received the Best Actor award from the New Zealand Film Awards. He has appeared in supporting roles in Speed 2: Cruise Control and The Beautiful Country. Morrison is featured in the upcoming Green Lantern.



12 August 2010

Spartacus Gods of the Arena Cast & Character Update

Updated the Cast Information page with character bio information on all the major characters of the prequel

  • Quintus Batiatus
  • Lucretia
  • Titus Batiatus
  • Oenoamaus
  • Gannicus
  • Crixus
  • Ashur
  • Naevia
  • Solonius
  • Tullius
  • Melitta
  • Barca
  • Auctus
  • Spartacus

Starz has not released any promo images yet. Once they do they will be posted in the Cast Gallery.



9 August 2010

More Spartacus GotA Casting - Auctus, Barca's Love Interest

ImageLast month confirmed that the Spartacus sequel Spartacus: Gods of the Arena would feature a gay gladiator named Auctus who would be the new love interest for Barca.

Sources have now confirmed exclusively to AfterElton that Australian actor and dancer Josef Brown will be playing Auctus.

Read article on


I'm not going to say a word...just look at the pretty pictures...


*sigh* (that's not a word that's an action <g>)

visit his site at



8 August 2010

Starz Spartacus Videos Now Online - Live Video Fan Chat & Comic Con Highlights


Spartacus Live - Video Fan Chat July 23, 2010
From Comic-Con. John Hannah, Lucy Lawless, Steven S. DeKnight, Andy Whitfield, Viva Bianca and surprise guest, Jai Courtney.

Watch Video



Highlights From 2010 Comic Con – Starz

Previews of new movies in theaters this week, lively interviews with top celebrities and the latest Hollywood buzz from Starz. This week: highlights from the 2010 Comic-Con in San Diego.

SPARTACUS cast interviews and Spartacus Comic Con round up at approx 8:15 minutes into the video.

Watch Video



8 August 2010

Transcript / Live Blog of the Spartacus TCA Panel

The transcript is from the live blog of the Spartacus Panel on TV Tango:
Reported by Barbara Davies. Caution if you are keeping spoiler may want to avoid reading this - very minor spoilers.

10:48 For SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA, Andy Whitfield appears briefly in the prequel. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:48

Premieres January 2011 on Starz

In this six-part prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the story will focus on life in the gladiator school before Spartacus arrives as a Thracian slave. John Hannah returns as Batiatus, owner of the school, along with his wife Lucretia (Lucy Lawless). Other returning actors include Andy Whitfield (Spartacus), Peter Mensah (Doctore), Manu Bennett (Crixus), Antonio Te Maioha (Barca), Nick E. Tarabay (Ashur), and others.

Panel includes:
Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator Saturday August 7, 2010 10:49

10:49 They showed a short clip. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:49

10:49 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: I feel like you got robbed. I bring no actors. They're all down in New Zealand filming. We just got through filming week 1. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:49

10:50 Q for Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: were you prepared for success of series? Saturday August 7, 2010 10:50

10:50 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: It's been phenomenal and shocking. You're never prepared for extreme success or failure. I wasn't prepared for VIVA LAUGHLIN. Thankfully, I wasn't up on stage, I was in the back [at the Beverly Hilton TCA a few years back]. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:50

10:52 Q about 2nd part of rebellion story.

Steven: I was planning episode 5, season 2. Once we found what was happening with Andy, I thought we should do a 2-hour episode and air it in January. It died. The people at Starz came and said "what about six hours?" Saturday August 7, 2010 10:52

10:53 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: We're thrilled to tell stories about things we visited briefly in season 1.

We start shooting Season 2 in November, after a one-week break after prequel.Q Saturday August 7, 2010 10:53

10:53 Q about Andy Saturday August 7, 2010 10:53

10:54 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: Andy looks better than I have at any time in my life. He's talking about bulking up bigger. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:54

10:54 Q about sex and violence. how did you approach it initially? Saturday August 7, 2010 10:54

10:55 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: It just seemed right for the world. If I was doing MAD MEN, I wouldn't go to these extremes.

We don't censor ourselves. If we think something is a good idea, we just throw it out there. It's very rare that we in the writer's room say "That's going to far." We've only done that once, and I can't tell you what it is.

We don't have to shy away from it. We can be a little more graphic. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:55

10:56 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: Our take on violence if more operatic. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:56

10:56 Q about DVD set: when out? extras? Saturday August 7, 2010 10:56

10:57 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: There isn't a ton of stuff on the cutting room floor. Especially in TV, where you don't overshoot too much

There are some things, mostly of a sexual nature, on the DVD. There's an extra shot in there [of the gladiator getting castrated] and in episode 6 of the orgy scene.

There's tons of commentary. Not every episode, but 9 or 10 out of 13. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:57

10:57 Q about killing off Lucy Lawless. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:57

10:59 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: I was thinking she was still twitching at the end of Season 1. John Hannah is harder to bring back.

The original plan for Lucy's character was for only one season. She was having so much fun, she wanted to come back. I said "Absolutely not, she has to die." I called him back and said "I have an idea." You'll love what we have for Season 2. Saturday August 7, 2010 10:59

10:59 Q about going outside more Saturday August 7, 2010 10:59

11:00 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: When you shoot in NZ, it becomes exponentially more expensive. [Plus, the look/feel is different]

We will continue shooting on green screen for the duration of the series. Saturday August 7, 2010 11:00

11:00 Q about doing prequel: did you pause? Saturday August 7, 2010 11:00

11:01 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: No really. If the prequel were telling information that we learn in Season 1, but the story fills in things for Season 2. In that way it all ties together. Saturday August 7, 2010 11:01

11:01 Q about circumventing life/death stakes and continuity.

11:02 Steven S. DeKnight, EP/creator: It's pretty much the same thing we faced with S1 of SPARTACUS. We knew he was going to live, but you can still squeeze some mighty fine drama out it.

We have a way to mix it up. You're never 100% sure. Saturday August 7, 2010 11:02

11:02 That was the last question for that panel



8 August 2010

IGN Interviews Steven, Lucy and John

ImageLawless and Hannah Talk Spartacus: Gods of the Arena - IGN talks to Steven at the TCA Spartacus Panel and to Lucy & John at Comic Con

Gods of the Arena
IGN spoke to both actors about returning for the new six-episode Starz prequel series. Plus, will Lawless actually be returning for Season 2?
US, August 7, 2010

"We're thrilled to be able to go back and tell a lot of the things that you hear about in Season 1," said Spartacus head writer, creator, and executive producer, Steven S. DeKnight at the TCA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour today. "Little one-liners like when Peter Mensah mentions his wife in one line, now we built an entire story around that." DeKnight was, of course, talking about the new six-episode prequel series, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.


At Comic-Con, IGN had a chance to speak with both Lucy Lawless and John Hannah about their miraculous resurrection for the Gods of the Arena prequel series. "I, personally, am looking forward to seeing all of the characters as they were before they became a train wreck," Lawless told us. "To see them hopeful, idealistic and with plans. And the audience might feel smart because they know what's coming, but we're still going to surprise you. We're still going to twist it up. Nothing it going to be as you predict. I think it would be cool to see Asher before he got injured and made lame - when he's a young recruit. And Crixus when he starts in the business." She then added with a laugh, "And Lucretia and Batiatus, before they'd ever killed anybody."

Read Full Article

Reported by Barbara Davies



8 August 2010

Spartacus GotA Casting News: Temeura Morrison & Jeffrey Thomas

ImageMore casting news for Gods of the Arena with the casting of Temeura Morrison (New Zealander and best known for Once Were Warriors, Star Wars: Episode II) and Jeffrey Thomas (many Legend of the Seeker fans will remember him as George Cypher, Richard's dad and another Welshman).

'Spartacus' prequel adds Temuera Morrison

Starz's "Spartacus" prequel started filming this week after filling two key roles in its cast.


ImageTemuera Morrison ("Star Wars: Episode II") and Jeffrey Thomas will play key roles in the six-episode "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," which is scheduled to premiere in January.

The prequel -- which came about in part because "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" star Andy Whitfield had to undergo cancer treatment (he's recovered and feels "10 years younger" -- will tell the story of the gladiator training academy before Spartacus arrives there. Morrison is playing Doctore, the predecessor to Peter Mensah's Oenomaus as the gladiators' trainer. Thomas ("Hercules," "Legend of the Seeker") is playing the senior Batiatus, the father of John Hannah's character in "Blood and Sand."

Whitfield will make a brief appearance in "Gods of the Arena" before returning full-time for Season 2 of the full series. The cast of "Gods of the Arena" also includes Dustin Clare, Jaime Murray and Marisa Ramirez in addition to "Spartacus" regulars Hannah, Lucy Lawless, Mensah and Manu Bennett.

"Audiences ate up the story of the House of Batiatus in our first season," says Carmi Zlotnik, managing director of Starz Media. "Now, with 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,' we've got a story that we think will keep them glued to their sets and ready for Season 2."




8 August 2010

Lucretia Lives! Hollywood Reporter 7 August 2010

ImageLucretia lives! Lawless in ‘Spartacus’ season two

It turns out Lucy Lawless' character survived the bloodbath in the end of season one, reveals "Spartacus" showrunner Steven S. DeKnight.

Lawless had already been revived to some extent by reprising her role as the scheming Lucretia in the upcoming "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" prequel, which takes place before the first season of "Spartacus."

But now she's also firmly in season two.

"Starz called, they wanted her to come back," DeKnight said. "I said 'absolutely not, she's gotta die, that's the way the story goes.'"

Then he realized, "she was still twitching at the end" of the finale and came up with an idea to continue her character into the season season.

"Where the story goes is really something special."




8 August 2010

Starz Description of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Here's the network description of the prequel:

The House of Batiatus has towered above the city of Capua for many years. “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” will explore its deadly history before the arrival of Spartacus, and the death he carried with him.

It’s a time of transition as Quintus Lentulus Batiatus takes the reins of his father’s stable of gladiators, with ambitions to elevate the house beyond all former glories. With his beautiful, scheming wife Lucretia at his side, he will stop at nothing to see his name forever carved into history.

Batiatus stakes his fortunes on the roguish gladiator Gannicus (Dustin Clare), a man whose skill with a sword is surpassed only by his appetite to live every day as if it were his last. But there are those who would see Batiatus and his champion destroyed. Loyalties will be tested, lives shattered, and battles waged in this thrilling prequel to “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”




8 August 2010

Steven at TCA Spartacus Panel - MINOR SPOILERS GotA & Vengeance

ImageSteven was at the TCA Spartacus Panel all on his lonesome while the actors are back in New Zealand filming Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Who better to promote Sparty when the actors are not around but Steven DeKnight:

Here's a rundown of some of the news from the event:

At today's Starz TCA press session, SPARTACUS creator and executive producer Steven S. DeKnight spoke about why Lucy Lawless will return as Lucretiain Season Two, even though the plan was to kill her off.

"The original plan was to kill Lucy at the end of the season," says DeKnight. "We had John Hannah and Lucy for one season. Lucy was having such a great time, there was interest in bringing her back. I got a call from [producer] Rob Tapert saying Starz called and 'they would really like Lucy to come back' and she wants to come back. I said 'absolutely not, she has to die' and then I called him back saying 'I have an idea.' So Lucy will be back in Season Two. Where the story goes with her, is something special. I’m excited about that."
source: iF Magazine

The idea of a standalone two-hour show didn't go over that
well, but after some back-and-forth with Tapert and Starz, they settled on six hours -- "the bed was just right," as DeKnight puts it. "We're thrilled to be able to go back and tell a lot of the things you hear about in Season 1," he adds. "Little one-liners, like when Peter Mensah [Oenomaus] mentions his wife in one line -- now we've built an entire story around that."Season 2 of "Spartacus" is set to begin filming in November, pretty much right after "Gods of the Arena" wraps. Starz hasn't set an airdate yet.
Source: wonderwall



1 August 2010

The Farmer Wants A Fight - Dustin Clare - Gannicus Mention


The Cairns Post TVPlus Magazine Supplment 29 July - 4 August 2010 The Farmer Wants A Fight - brief blurb about Dustin Clare winning the role of Gannicus for Spartacus: Gods of the Arena


Click on the thumbnail for the larger scan



For more about Spartacus: Gods of the Arena go to AUSXIP Spartacus: House of Batiatus (GotA) subsite



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