Comic-Con, Day 3: Don't Mess With Spartacus
Posted on July 25th, 2009
By Stacey Harrison
Today's highlight was a sneak preview of the upcoming Starz gladiator epic, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Or, as you'll see as we get closer to the January premiere date, the TV version of 300. In describing the sex and violence quotient, the moderator said, "It's going to make Rome look like Full House."
Included on the panel were Lucy Lawless, who plays Lucretia, wife of the Spartacus' master; Erin Cummings, who plays Sura, Spartacus' long-suffering wife; Peter Mensah -- who was actually in 300, as the Persian messenger who gets kicked down that hole by Leonidas -- plays Doctore, the trainer of the gladiators; producer (and Lawless' hubby) Robert Tapert; and writer and producer Steven DeKnight, who looks more like a UFC promoter than a show runner. Spartacus himself was supposed to show up, but newcomer Andy Whitfield had to beg off due to the production schedule.
DeKnight says the story is far different from the one made famous in the 1960 Stanley Kubrick epic that starred Kirk Douglas. There is much more to the historical story of Spartacus than was told there. Yes, Spartacus led a slave revolution that nearly brought the Roman Empire to its knees, but what was his life like before. That is where Blood and Sand spends much of its 13-episode first season, making very good use of the relaxed standards that come with being on a premium network. "Starz told us, push it a little further," DeKnight said. "When you cross the line, we'll tell you."
Lawless said she will not get to make use of the fighting skills she learned during all those years on Xena: Warrior Princess. Instead, she spends a lot of time getting physical in a different way with the gladiators in her husband's stable. She is desperate to have a baby, and her husband, Batiatus (John Hannah), is unable to give her one, forcing her to look for help elsewhere. That aside, the couple does have a workable relationship, but their push for power drives them to become the Lady and Lord Macbeth of the piece.
For more news - check out Comic Con Spartacus Panel News & Pics