Spartacus, the Hollywood blockbuster that the late Kirk Douglas brought to life in 1960, has proved such an enduring story that a 2010-13 series on the Starz cable network is bringing it back.
It will be a combined revival and sequel with series creator Steven S. DeKnight working up a version that the network said will expand on the original and that he will serve as the showrunner.
Spartacus has been based on the rebellion against Rome led by a Thracian gladiator who led a series of victories before being overwhelmed by the odds, the story still capturing attention centuries later.
“It’s such an incredible honor to be invited to return to the world of Spartacus and to be met with unbridled creative support from my colleagues at Starz and Lionsgate,” DeKnight said in a statement. “Together we are crafting something truly unique and unusual for the next chapter in this epic story.”
The earlier series featured Welsh actor Andy Whitfield as the title character who led the slave uprising against Roman rule and after he was diagnosed with cancer the network filmed a prequel featuring other characters.
After his death, Australian actor Liam McIntyre took over the role of Spartacus for the final two seasons, subtitled Vengeance and War of the Damned, a Greek again portrayed by someone who isn’t.
The new chapter is set in the aftermath of the slave army’s defeat and will “depict a new tale of treachery, deceit, and blood unfolding beneath the foreboding shadow of Rome,” the project description put it.
Starz also said the update will feature characters from the original series — though no specifics are in place yet nor was it said whether McIntyre would return to the role, or another choice.
In the next chapter, following the defeat of Spartacus and his army, the drama will depict a new tale of treachery, deceit, and blood unfolding beneath the foreboding shadow of Rome, the description added..
“It’s such an incredible honor to be invited to return to the world of Spartacus and to be met with unbridled creative support from my colleagues at Starz and Lionsgate,” said DeKnight in a statement. “Together we are crafting something truly unique and unusual for the next chapter in this epic story.”
“It has been over a decade since Spartacus delighted international audiences and we are thrilled to reimagine and expand this gripping, action-packed drama for our viewers today,” added Kathryn Busby, President, Original Programming, Starz. “Spartacus has deeply invested fans who are eager for its return, and we look forward to working with Steven on this exciting next chapter.”