July 31, 2009

How TV's New Spartacus Will 'Bend' History
 

The following interview with Rob and Steven was posted on SciFi Wire 31 July 2009


We got a chance to chat with Rob Tapert and Steven DeKnight about their upcoming one-hour drama for Starz, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which stars Andy Whitfield and sci-fi icon Lucy Lawless in a retelling of the sword-and-sandals tale.

Tapert (Lawless' husband and producer of Xena: Warrior Princess) and DeKnight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) explained why they decided to "bend history," as DeKnight put it, for the new show.

Read Full Interview

 

IESB Interview with Lucy, Rob, Peter, Steven and Sam
 

The action-adventure drama series Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the latest to be added to the Starz line-up of original programming. Premiering on January 22, 2010, the highly anticipated epic story that promises to be brutal, bloody and sexy, is being brought to life by executive producers Steven S. DeKnight, who is also the series' head writer, Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi.


Lucy Lawless, best known for her role in Xena: Warrior Princess, portrays Lucretia, who along with her husband, Batiatus (The Mummy's John Hannah), own the Ludus gladiator camp, as well as Spartacus (Australian actor Andy Whitfield). The couple has fallen on hard times financially and has bought Spartacus hoping his fighting prowess will help them regain their status in the brutal world of gladiatorial contests.

Spartacus is a soldier in the Roman Auxiliary who has been taken prisoner and, as punishment for defying a Roman Legate, he has been sentenced to die in the gladiator area. But after surviving numerous fights, his sentence is commuted and he has been sold as a slave to be trained as a gladiator.

Actors Lucy Lawless and Peter Mensah, who plays Batiatus' most loyal and trusted slave Doctore, joined DeKnight, Tapert and Raimi at the Television Critics Association Press Tour to discuss this entirely new vision of the ancient legend.

Read Full Interview

 

July 30, 2009

Rob at TCA Spartacus Panel
 

TCA Spartacus Panel News, Pics and Audio Roundup

Lucy, Rob, Sam Raimi, Steven DeKnight and Peter Mensah attended theTelevision Critics Association (TCA) conference in Pasadena on 29 July 2009 to promote Spartacus.

HQ Images
Medium Resolution Images




Links to Other Photo Sites
Reuters
and World Entertainment News

News Reports

TV Squad - 30 July 2009 (With Lucy Audio)

BBCA and Starz: Lucy Lawless will get naked, and Tennant's last eps - TCA Report Posted Jul 30th 2009 1:02AM by Joel Keller



Spartacus: Blood and Sand

During the Spartacus panel, Lawless was asked if she's going to be naked during the first season, as the show involves a lot of sex scenes. "I'm afraid so," she said. She plays Lucretia, a "proprietor of a camp for gladiators." She takes up with a gladiator in the hope of having a baby. It's tough for her to do those scenes because, while she tries to keep in fantastic shape, "when you get on set, you get the 'freshman 15'," she told the scrum afterwords.

Near the end of the scrum, I asked her if she thought a certain fanboy segment (coughXenacough) will be happy to see her nude. Her response included her experience seeing Caligula when she was a teenager. Say one thing for Lucy; she's not the demure type.

Lucy Lawless on being nude (1:58)



In the "more than we need to know" department, apparently the show utilizes a prosthetic for when the various gladiators appear nude. Yes, that kind of prosthetic. "We had to create the 'Kirk Douglas', as it's aptly named, so people had a prosthetic they could wear," said EP Rob Tappert. Lawless said they hang it up in the prop truck "next to all the merkins." Must be a fun set.

Oh, Sam Raimi is also one of the EPs; he had the concept of the show, and was involved at the start, but the latest Spider-Man film will call him away from the rest of the season.

HitFix Site

Press Tour Notes: Joan Rivers trashes Leno, 'Spartacus' redefines Kirk Douglas - Posted on Thursday, Jul 30, 2009 By Daniel Fienberg



Rob Tapert on an unexpected homage to Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" in Starz' "Spartacus: Blood and Sand": "[T]here's a great deal of nudity, both male and female. And some guys are not as well-endowed as other guys, so we had to create the Kirk Douglas, as it was aptly named, so that certain actors would have a prosthetic that they could wear and feel comfortable." (To which series co-star Lucy Lawless added, "That thing gets shared around, though. At the moment it's pinned to the wall next to all the merkins in the makeup truck.")

SPARTACUS to Include Lots of Sex, Violence -- and Human Drama

The Torch Online - 29 July 2009

In a presentation today at the annual Television Critics Association conference in Pasadena, the producers and stars of the upcoming series Spartacus: Blood and Sand emphasized that it pushes the limits of what's been seen on television, with graphic violence and plenty of sex and nudity, but that it's all in the service of a well-told story involving compelling characters.

"Nudity?" said co-star Lucy Lawless after being asked if she gets naked in the the first season. "I'm afraid so. Not entirely, no, and I'm kind of praying that day never comes."

Read Full Article

 

July 26, 2009

Rob at Spartacus Comic Con Panel - Video
 

Comic Con Spartacus Panel Video Now Online

Added video of the Spartacus Panel at Comic Con which was filmed by Lori. Part 1 and 2 of the Spartacus Panel with Lucy, Rob, Peter Mensah, Stephen DeKnight and Erin Cummins.

Can also be viewed on the AUSXIP YouTube Channel

PART 1


PART 2



 

July 25, 2009

Comic-Con, Day 3: Don't Mess With Spartacus
 

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

 

Spartacus Panel Photos Now Online
 


Lori has reported in with some FABULOUS pictures from the panel. All of the pics are of Lucy, Rob and Erin. There are more to come. 18 photos have been posted.

Click here to view the images

 

July 24, 2009

Behind The Scenes Production Video and Interviews
 


The official Spartacus site has released a Behind The Scenes productiaon video and interviews with Steven DeKnight (writer and exec producer), Rob Tapert, Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Andy Whitfield (Spartacus), Craig Parker (Glaber) John Hannah (Batiatus), Manu Bennett (Crixus) and Viva Bianca (Ilithya)

It's quite a cool look behind the scenes.






 

Official Spartacus Trailer Promo Released
 


Holy Moly this is incredible! Absofrigginlutely incredible. I was excited about the show before I saw visuals and now that I've seen the visuals, WOW. I LOVED the movie 300 and anything that is set in Rome or Greece and this looks to be on par with that and beyond. Lucy looks AMAZING. Andy looks INCREDIBLE! Rob has created another gem!

Watch the trailer


 

Rob at Spartacus Panel at Comic Con
 

Here they come - Pictures, Video and Reports from the Spartacus Panel!

Pictures

gal/Conventions/2009_Comic_Con/Photos_By_LBoyles/_thb_axip-spartacuscomic-con-012.jpg
Lori has reported in with some FABULOUS pictures from the panel. All of the pics are of Lucy, Rob and Erin. There are more to come. 18 photos have been posted.

Click here to view the images



19268219.jpg

Lucy visited Ausiello (from TV Guide) and
"A Comic-Con veteran just dropped in and gave me the best interview ever "

Click here for the larger scan


There are two pics of Lucy currently on the web of her out and about at Comic Con and looking absolutely fabulous!
Twitter Pic #1 | Twitter Pic #2


Reports

The reports and articles are coming through...here's a list of articles:

Is anyone surprised that Lucy stole the show at Comic Con?

San Diego Entertainer Magazine - 24 July 2009

Lucy Lawless steals the show at "Spartacus" panel

We just got out of the panel for Starz' upcoming new series, Spartacus. They're making their presence known here this weekend, nabbing the lanyard rights and subsequently turning everyone with passes hanging from their necks into walking advertisements. Every question from the audience was to Lucy Lawless. With all the salivating males around, this is hardly surprising. The trailer was great, but, for most guys there, all they needed to know was that it was basically a show where Lucy gets naked.


LA Times Blog - 24 July 2009

Comic-Con: 'Spartacus' death toll 'like nothing you've seen'

"This will have a death toll like nothing you've seen on television before," vowed writer-producer Steven DeKnight of "Spartacus," Starz's new sword-and-sandals epic coming in January.

The premium channel unveiled the trailer during a Comic-Con panel today, and indeed the series looks gory. And full of naked bodies! Imagine the nudity of HBO's "Rome," the violence of "Gladiator" and the look of "300," and you'll have a good idea of what "Spartacus" is like.

It's "big fun back on the small screen," as star Lucy Lawless, the erstwhile Xena, told the crowd. And here's something you don't hear often from producers: The network wanted them to push the envelope even more. "There have been times when Starz has told us, push it a little further. We'll tell you when you cross the line," DeKnight said.

For all that, though, he added that the violence is more "operatic" rather than realistic. The nudity, meanwhile, forced Lawless to hit the gym. "I do have to work out," she said. "Being naked on-screen is no fun."



Beyond Hollywood - 24 July 2007


Comic-Con '09 Coverage, Featured, Spartacus: Blood and Sand TV Series, TV News, Videos -- By Nix on July 24, 2009

This was one of the panels at Comic-Con that I was most curious about. You've probably heard all the stories, since we've been covering the Starz show from Day 1. It's not supposed to be your father's Spartacus. Bloody violence, sex, nudity -- all that good stuff they couldn't have gotten away with if they were on network TV or syndication. And after having seen an extended trailer from the show at the Spartacus: Blood and Sand panel, I can safely say that Yes, I think they were right to make those promises. This really isn't my father's Spartacus, and oh hell yeah this thing has tons of bloody violence, nudity, and sex.

The panel was attended by castmembers Lucy Lawless (she plays Lucretia, the scheming wife (Lawless describes her as Lady MacBeth) of the guy who runs the Gladiator training facility known as the Ludus), Erin Cummings (she plays Sura, Spartacus' wife), Peter Mensah (Doctore, the gladiator's trainer), and executive producers Rob Tapert and Steven S. DeKnight, also the show's writer.

Read More


Channel Guide Magazine - 25 July 2009

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



Report from Annie:

The footage looks AMAZING!!! Lots of nekkid bodies, male and female, gory fights with a visual style similar to 300. Lucy and Rob's nameplates were reversed-there was a humorous moment when Lucy covertly switched them to their proper place amongst audience giggles. Lucy said she has no fighting but has to work out for the revealing scenes. ;-) When a fan asked Lucy for her nameplate, she heaved a mock annoyed sigh and threw it off the stage to the guy-was hilarious!

Photos from Annie and Lori will be added to the the AUSXIP Spartacus Galleries
Only a couple of photos from Annie - more will be coming soon

From Natali Del Conte's site: "I am a correspondent for The CBS Early Show and WCBS and a host on CNET TV. My daily newscast on CNET TV is called Loaded and I am a co-host of the daily podcast Buzz Out Loud."

She tweeted: natalidelconte: "Feel like an entertainment reporter. Interviews with Terri Hatcher, Danny DeVito, Lucy Lawless, and Big Bang Theory cast."



Panel photo by http://www.yfrog.com/froggy.php?username=Scorpio_Sky
http://img248.yfrog.com/i/5ic.jpg/

TeelaJBrown tweets:
Lucy Lawless: "I am not playing a role model"

lifeonqueen tweets: Not surprisingly, Lucy Lawless is pratically the only one getting questions. #spartacus

TeelaJBrown: blurry lucy lawless (sorry) #sdcc http://sml.vg/rwcZeP

kphipps3000: Watching a panel for SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND. Lucy Lawless should have more roles with her natural accent.

lifeonqueen: Lucy Lawless gets the biggest laugh when asked about preparations for the role: "No, darling, I've been evil for years." #SPARTACUS #sdcc

lifeonqueen: I know lots of people who are going to be trilled that Lucy Lawless has just announced she's going to be naked onscreen in SPARTACUS #sdcc

gpcrush: Spartacus looks hot! its Rome, 300 and Gladiator mixed n2 one. Lucy Lawless looks gorgeous & regal. love her! #fb

mvrivero: @ewausiellofiles http://twitpic.com/bgzgb - OMG!!! Lucy Lawless is sooooooooooo GORGEOUS!!! what a lucky guy!!!



 

July 17, 2009

Starz Sends 'Spartacus'' Lawless, Tapert, DeKnight to Comic-Con TV Week
 

Starz will give San Diego Comic-Con International attendees a first look at its new series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" on July 24.

The network will present a panel with stars Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah, Andy Whitfield and executive producers Rob Tapert and Steven S. DeKnight.

The panel will also feature the unveiling of an exclusive comic book mini-series inspired by the series with a special Comic-Con cover from Devil's Due Publishing.

The series is slated to premiere in January 2010.

Source

 

Starz Announces Spartacus: Blood and Sand Panel at Comic Con '09
 


The world of gladiators comes to life as the Roman Republic's most brutal fighters clash in the ultimate arena. "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" is an entirely new vision of the ancient legend and will utilize virtual environments giving it a unique graphic novel look and style, along with a fresh narrative approach. Debuting exclusively on Starz, "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" in January 2010 is produced by Starz Media with Executive Producers Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi and Joshua Donen.

Starz's new "Spartacus" series was inspired by the actual slave of the Roman Republic who in 73 BC led a slave revolt that grew to more than 120,000 fighters. Defying the Roman Republic's legions of soldiers, they campaigned for two years through much of what is now Italy before succumbing to a much larger army. The new series will tell a new set of stories rich in character, action, sex and combat.

This series, including 13 one-hour episodes, is executive produced by heavy-hitters Sam Raimi (Spider-Man and Evil Dead), Rob Tapert (The Grudge, "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys") and Steven DeKnight ("Smallville," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"). Production, based in New Zealand, runs through the end of October.

Comic-Con '09 takes place on July 23rd to July 26th in San Diego, California.

News submitted by Barbara Davies

 

Evil Dead Returning To The Big Screen
Big Burst & 30 Days of Night Sequel Updates
Rob and Sam Launching Spooky Pictures
How TV's New Spartacus Will 'Bend' History
IESB Interview with Lucy, Rob, Peter, Steven and S...
Rob at TCA Spartacus Panel
Rob at Spartacus Comic Con Panel - Video
Comic-Con, Day 3: Don't Mess With Spartacus
Spartacus Panel Photos Now Online

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  AUSXIP Interviews Rob

Support Marissa Members of the AUSXIP Talking Xena message forum submitted questions for Rob and they were sent to him. Rob graciously agreed to answer the majority of the questions which were fantastic and very informative, humorous and very enlightening. It's not often you get such an indepth interview from a Holllywood producer. Sit back and enjoy one of the best interviews with Rob Tapert.

» Full Interview