Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess / Battlestar Galactica) will join Andy Whitfield in the new live-action fantasy series Spartacus: Blood and Sand from Legend of the Seeker producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert.
Australian Andy Whitfield (Gabriel / McLeods Daughters) has been cast in the lead role as Spartacus, a soldier in the Roman Auxiliary who is taken prisoner and sentenced to fight as a Gladiator for defying a Roman Legate. After multiple wins as a Gladiator, Spartacus is sold into slavery. Lawless will play Lucretia, who with her husband Batiatus, owns the slave Spartacus.
Though the rest of the cast is comprised of relative newcomers it is nonetheless impressive. Erin Cummings (Dollhouse) will play Spartacus’ wife Sura. Peter Mensah (300, Avatar) is Doctore, Batiatus’ most loyal and trusted slave. Manu Bennett (30 Days of Night, The Condemned) takes on the role of Crixus – the top Gladiator. Antonio Te Maioha (Xena: Warrior Princess, Legend of the Seeker) will play Barca, Batiatus’ bodyguard and hit man. Craig Parker (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Legend of the Seeker) plays Glaber who blames Spartacus for his failed military campaign, and Nick E. Tarabay (Crash, The Sopranos) will play Ashur, a former gladiator who is now the Gladiator bookie.
It is reported that the show will use Zack Snyder 300 style virtual environments to recreate the Roman Republic.
The series will be produced by premium cable network Starz and promises “a new set of stories rich in character, action, sex and combat.” Production commences April 1.
It is expected to air on Starz in January 2010.