The most celebrated STARZ Originals franchise, "Spartacus," will continue to wow audiences worldwide with a renewal secured for a thrilling and bloody third season. The green light comes well in advance of "Spartacus: Vengeance," which will debut exclusively on STARZ - Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10PM ET/PT.
As yet untitled, production on the third season of "Spartacus" is expected to begin in New Zealand in early 2012.
Starz Media Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik commented, "There is no denying the impact 'Spartacus' has had in the marketplace with fans across the globe thirsting for the continuation of the epic tale. 'Vengeance' brings unparalleled action and drama to STARZ viewers in January. We are thrilled to come to an early agreement that allows the writers and talent to get right back to work in preparing for season three."
"Many surprises are in store for 'Vengeance' viewers this year, but rest assured the multi-layered plot and richly developed characters will continue to be a trademark of this series," said Rob Tapert, executive producer. "It's incredibly gratifying to see how the story has resonated so well with viewers worldwide."
"The executives at Starz have been extremely supportive in giving us creative freedom and allowing us to tell the story in a rich, yet bold way that leaves an indelible mark on its fans," added Steven S. DeKnight, executive producer.
The most recent chapter of "Spartacus" was the prequel, "Gods of the Arena," which ran in January 2011 and averaged an estimated 6.2 million total viewers per episode across all linear channels and on-demand viewing.
Australian actor Liam McIntyre (Ektopos, Radev, "Neighbours," "The Pacific") assumes the title role of Spartacus in "Vengeance." McIntyre is joined by returning favorites: Lucy Lawless ("Xena: Warrior Princess," "Battlestar Galactica") as Lucretia; Peter Mensah (Avatar, 300, The Incredible Hulk) as Oenomaus once known as Doctore; Manu Bennett (The Marine, 30 Days of Night), as Crixus; Dustin Clare ("Underbelly," "Satisfaction") as Gannicus; Nick E. Tarabay ("Crash," "CSI: Miami") as Ashur; and Katrina Law ("Third Watch") as Mira.
Season two also brings the return of "Blood and Sand" cast members, Craig Parker (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Gaius Claudius Glaber, the Roman commander who condemned Spartacus to slavery, and his alluring and cunning wife Ilithyia played by Viva Bianca (Accidents Happen). Actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson ("Dirt") joins the series as Naevia, the former body slave to Lucretia who was banished from the Ludus for engaging in a love affair with Crixus.
Premiering exclusively on STARZ, "Spartacus: Vengeance" is produced by executive producers Rob Tapert (The Grudge, "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"), Steven S. DeKnight ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man and The Evil Dead), and Joshua Donen (The Quick and the Dead). "Spartacus" is distributed internationally by Starz Media Worldwide Distribution.