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CASTING: Liam McIntyre IS Spartacus
January 17, 2011  | By Diane Werts
 
Spartacus-Starz-cast.jpg

Starz has indeed recast the lead role in its graphic drama series Spartacus, which star Andy Whitfield left after the first season for cancer treatment. [That's Whitfield in the photo above.]

Liam McIntyre, another Australian actor, will take over the role in a second season shooting in the southern hemisphere this spring.

liam-mcintyre-spartacus.jpg

In the meantime, Starz is hyping its Jan. 21 premiere of the prequel miniseries Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, shifting the focus to the gladiator stable owners played by John Hannah and Lucy Lawless. Sort of a "how they built the business" thing (with gobs of sex and violence).

McIntyre's credits include the Iwo Jima episode of The Pacific, but we haven't been able to scare up a photo of him in that HBO miniseries. Look at his other portraits, however, and the 28-year-old doesn't seem so far a stretch (facially, anyway) from Whitfield.

Here's Monday's press release from Starz:

Australian film and TV actor Liam McIntyre has excelled at a grueling and rigorous audition process to claim the title role in the second season of Starz' hit franchise Spartacus, Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht announced today.

McIntyre takes over the role of the Thracian warrior sold into slavery in the Roman Republic city of Capua -- where he rises to become the champion of the city -- before leading the slave revolt that ended Season 1. The part was played in the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand by Andy Whitfield, who was forced to leave the show in order due to health issues. Whitfield gave his blessing to the recasting.

"Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly lead Spartacus forward," Albrecht notes. "It was important to us to have Andy endorse the idea of recasting this part, which he did in the same heroic manner that he's dealt with his whole ordeal. And that, coupled with our fortune in finding a young actor with the gladiator credentials and the acting ability of Liam, makes it easier for us to keep this hit franchise going."

Liam McIntyre made his mark in his native Australia on such series as Neighbours and Rush. He also appeared in the HBO mini-series The Pacific. He recently completed his first feature starring role in the independent film Frozen Moments. McIntyre is currently in New Zealand, getting himself into gladiator shape in order to take on that iconic role. Production on the series is slated to resume by spring of 2011.

 
 
 
 
 
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