Spartacus may be forced to sit this fight out, but Gannicus has his back.
Starz has announced some key casting choices for its prequel to hit series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” on Monday. The six-episode miniseries is entitled “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” and will focus on a gladiator named Gannicus. Australian actor Dustin Clare has been tapped for that role.
The series will focus on the gladiator school in the days before Spartacus showed up.
“Gods of the Arena” was put into production as a stopgap measure after an announcement that “Spartacus” star Any Whitfield had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Production on the sophomore season was delayed while he underwent treatment, but the network said Monday that Whitfield, who has recovered, will appear briefly in a small role.
Production begins this August and will air early next year on Starz.
Joining Clare in the series are Jaime Murray and Marisa Ramirez in two central roles. Murray is playing what is being described as a “social climber." Ramirez will be on the opposite end of the Roman socioeconomic spectrum, playing a slave girl.
In addition to Whitfield, Lucy Lawless, John Hannah, Peter Mensah and Manu Bennett will reprise their roles from the first season.
With Whitfield having been given a clean bill of health, Starz said season two of "Blood and Sand" will begin production later this year.
Clare has primarily appeared on Australian TV shows including “Satisfaction,” “Underbelly” and “McLeod’s Daughter.” Murray starred in the CW series “Valentine” and had an extended role on Showtime’s “Dexter.” Ramirez is best known for her work on “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless.”