January 17, 2011

News: New Spartacus Named

Photo: Annevi Petersson
In my eyes, Andy Whitfield will always be Spartacus, but since he gave his blessing for Starz to continue the Spartacus: Blood and Sand franchise without him, a new actor had to be cast to try and fill his sandals. Plenty of British, Australian, and American actors tried out, but apparently Liam McIntyre won the role.

While I don't know enough about McIntyre or his work (I said the same about Whitfield), he does seem like an appropriate choice. As a fan, Spartacus' charm came from the fact that in a lot of ways he was just an ordinary guy thrown into an extraordinary situation. Sure, he was one of the best warriors in Thrace, but he was by no means a gladiator when he ended up in Batiatus' ludus. He was an underdog that ended up being the Champion of Capua, and it's a story we can all get behind.

Andy Whitfield and Liam McIntyre are both good looking men, but they are not hulking brutes which adds to the scrappy mystique required for Spartacus. Some fans wanted Prison Break's Dominic Purcell to be the next Sparty, but he's too built and thick whereas McIntyre could pull of a leaner yet muscular look that is more suitable for the role. If anything I could easily see Purcell as another gladiator, but not the Thracian. It also doesn't hurt that McIntyre resembles Whitfield ever so slightly, so it'll be easier to get used to him as Spartacus.

Begrudgingly, I'm on board with the casting Liam McIntyre but he has a way to go in order to win over some of the fans. It's not going to be an easy challenge, but I'm optimistic about his chances. Plus, we'll get to see Andy again in Gods of the Arena, which should give us some closure. Congrats Liam.


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