Liam McIntyre has some big shoes to fill after season one’s Spartacus, Andy Whitfield, had to be relieved following cancer complications. The Wrap states McIntryre won the role out of a shortlist of three, all of whom auditioned in November. His TV pedigree includes roles on The Pacific and Australian programs Neighbours and Rush.
While he has the acting chops, producers didn’t find his skinny frame very gladiator-ish, so he was asked to bulk up a bit. I hope that request didn’t hurt his feelings. The fact that McIntyre is Australian shouldn’t be a distraction to anyone who actually thinks that Spartacus looked like Kirk Douglas and not more like Vin Diesel.
Spartacus, despite being in pay-cable limbo over at Starz, amassed some pretty respectable ratings its freshman season, so the casting decision was a bigger decision than many realize. No premiere date for season two of Spartacus: Blood and Sand has been set yet, but production is set to begin in early spring with McIntyre stepping in as the legendary slave.