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'Spartacus' to Recast Lead Role

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 4th 2010 4:55PM
Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Starz is going to recast the title role of its hit gladiator drama, 'Spartacus.' A representative for the Starz network had no comment on the EW report.

It was heartbreaking to learn that 'Spartacus' star Andy Whitfield's cancer, which he'd battled earlier in the year, had recently returned, forcing him to drop out of production on the second season of the show.

According to Ausiello's story, producers are searching for an actor to play the "smart, intense, passionate" lead role on the drama. Given a choice between shutting down the show permanently and recasting the lead role, the powers that be apparently went with the latter option.

Whitfield will still appear in two episodes of 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,' a prequel series that will air on Starz in early 2011.

Whitfield brought a quiet and effective intensity to the role of the slave turned gladiator. I join Whitfield's fans in devoutly hoping that he recovers fully and can display his skills in many future roles. And there's no doubt that the actor stepping into Whitfield's role will have big shoes (or rather, sandals) to fill.

As you can probably tell, I'm a huge fan of season 1 of 'Spartacus,' which started out wobbly but soon unleashed the kind of coiled intensity, savvy character development and jaw-dropping surprises that made the show must-see viewing. There's part of me that absolutely wishes the producers could wait for Whitfield to get healthy again. That would have been the ideal option, but the realities of the television industry just make this whole situation a series of unfortunate options.

Though I'll miss Whitfield in the lead role, and the producers will be lucky to find someone as quietly charismatic and skilled as Whitfield, on balance I'm glad these storytellers, who are led by executive producer Steven S. DeKnight, will get a chance to keep pursuing their vision for Spartacus' story. Again, the best scenario would be a healthy Whitfield returning to the role, but given that that's not an option at this point, I'm glad Starz chose not to shut down the show entirely.

What do you think, 'Spartacus' fans? Should the show have gone away, or was recasting a good idea? Leave your thoughts in the comment area.

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getem718

smh....its sad that andy is going thru what he is goin thru and i hope he gets better...as far as the show goes, like it has been stated before, its going to be a big shoe to fill...REAL BIG!!!! i mean for me, watch that 1st season had me hooked....and every episode had an incredible climax...one of my favorites was when he yelled out "I AM SPARTUCUS"!!! It was great...i mean...idk wat to say....im kind of shaky on season two...especially after a great ending of season 1, regaurdless of the prequel to guide the fans away from andy....and i must admit, gannicus was a beast....

April 04 2011 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
getem718

smh....its sad that andy is going thru what he is goin thru and i hope he gets better...as far as the show goes, like it has been stated before, its going to be a big shoe to fill...REAL BIG!!!! i mean for me, watch that 1st season had me hooked....and every episode had an incredible climax...one of my favorites was when he yelled out "I AM SPARTUCUS"!!! It was great...i mean...idk wat to say....im kind of shaky on season two...especially after a great ending of season 1, regaurdless of the prequel to guide the fans away from andy....and i must admit, gannicus was a beast....

April 04 2011 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
getem718

smh....its sad that andy is going thru what he is goin thru and i hope he gets better...as far as the show goes, like it has been stated before, its going to be a big shoe to fill...REAL BIG!!!! i mean for me, watch that 1st season had me hooked....and every episode had an incredible climax...one of my favorites was when he yelled out "I AM SPARTUCUS"!!! It was great...i mean...idk wat to say....im kind of shaky on season two...especially after a great ending of season 1, regaurdless of the prequel to guide the fans away from andy....and i must admit, gannicus was a beast....

April 04 2011 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bobbi

Replacing Andy makes me want to never watch the show again. He is the character that made me want to watch it in the first place. Replacing him will make it really hard for me to watch. He really made the story come to life for me. Although John Hannah and Lucy Lawless was an added bonus. Too bad I have to wait till next year just to watch! >.o
We'll see...

March 14 2011 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tina

Ok... I change my mind... There is NO replacement for Andy.... :-(

January 13 2011 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tina

Oh wow! I Agree! I was watching "clash of the titans" and being a Spartacus fan myself thought of him as an awesome fit! Although , no one can replace Andy

January 13 2011 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lakin Goracke

I am going to miss Andy very much! But I know one persont that could be a great replacement because he looks almost like him and I actually thought was Andy when I first seen him and that is Sam Worthington from Clash of the Titans!! I think that he would make a great replacement for Andy so maybe the producers can look into that!!

January 10 2011 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adamson

i am so saddened that Andy is not having good health condition that made him out (for a while?) from the show. I really wish for his early recovery so he could be back then and play again the role of SPARTACUS giving the passion in exciting the senses of the viewers. For the new Spartacus on the next season, may you have all the lucks. I really can't wait for the next.!!!

December 22 2010 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
art

Brad Pitt would make a great Spartacus, he was awesome in Troy.

December 21 2010 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
art

Andy Whitfield is the only Spartacus, but this show is so amazing and all the actors/actresses in it. If they must replace Andy then they should look for someone from the cast of rome or the movie 300 like maybey Gerard Butler he might make a good Spartacus.

December 21 2010 at 2:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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