Exclusive: Dominic Purcell Poised to Enter 'Spartacus' Arena?

With the long-delayed second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand officially a go, who will replace cancer-stricken Andy Whitfield as Rome’s most famous gladiator?

Last Friday, Starz’s boss Chris Albrecht said the was “confident that we will find an actor who can ably step into Spartacus’ sandals.” I hear that that same day, the pay cable network’s executives had received a screen test for the role done by former Prison Break star Dominic Purcell.

Throwing Purcell’s name into the mix is an intriguing proposition. For one, he does have the the physique to pull off a believable gladiator. Australian actor Liam McIntyre is said to still be in serious contention for the role, and he continues to bulk up as Starz reportedly liked him as an actor but his thin frame was a problem.

It’s not clear what the network’s final decision will be, but if Purcell does indeed get the lead, his last-minute hire would mirror his 11th-hour casting on Fox’s Prison Break, where he auditioned and got the role three days before the pilot was to go into production. And in another peculiar coincidence, Purcell’s Prison Break co-star Wentworth Miller reportedly expressed interest in taking over the Spartacus role back in October.

Thoughts? If it comes down to a choice between Purcell and McIntyre, who would you choose? Cast your votes in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jason says:

    This could work.

  2. irg19 says:

    Yes please!

  3. Bill says:

    he will do naked scenes for sure so it will be interesting to see linkoln burrowghs willy hahah

  4. Will says:

    I never watched Prison Break, but he looks like a good Spartacus.

  5. SnazzyO says:

    Yay Dom. I hope they give him some drama scenes. He does “brute” very well but I’d like to see him actually act more than pummel.

  6. Dee says:

    I would hands down hire Dominic over Wentworth Miller. Dominic has that gladiator like look about him while Wentworth is the guy next door. Dominic hands down!

  7. Slicey says:

    Hmm, not sure about his acting chops. I mean, I loved Prison Break, but Wentworth Miller was the better actor there. Purcell obviously has the look for Spartacus. I’m not familiar with McIntyre, but Aussies tend to have good acting chops, so he would probably work better if he can bulk up enough.

  8. gokurotfl says:

    It would be stupid. He doesn’t look like Andy at all! McIntyre would be better choice.

  9. Dominique says:

    See now this is something I can take seriously! Dom definitely has the physique to pull of a role like that, and a face that’s quite more intimidating that McIntrye’s. I mean, if Som would come at me in the Arena, I would run away like a scared little girl (which, in fact, I am lol), but with McIntyre, I just wanna grab his cheeks and tell him how cute he looks lol.

  10. Kimberly says:

    I like Purcell, but I think as a viewer that McIntyre would be the less jarring choice. If they were going with a new character I’d be more on board with Purcell, but he looks nothing like Andy Whitfield at all whereas McIntyre has similar features and for me would be the more seemless transition. Either way, the show won’t be the same without Andy. He was and always will be my Spartacus.

  11. xaverie says:

    No, no, no, no and no. He just doesn’t have the Spartacus feel.

  12. Ben Phelps says:

    How is Andreeva publishing this story on TVLine and Deadline as an exclusive?

  13. R Vance says:

    Seeing as he’s got a similar background to Andy – originally British – I think this could work – he’s got the physique for the job and can do mean & brooding – I’d be happy with either choice

  14. Ainav says:

    I think this could be really good.

  15. Michael Sacal says:

    Remember the famous “I’m Spartacus” thingy?

    What if each season they were to cast a new actor to play Spartacus and then brought back the original actor as the real Spartacus?

    Let us not forget that Spartacus is not really the character’s true name, it’s his “slave name”. Spartacus is larger than any one man, which is the point fo the story. Spartacus is legend, it’s a name that inspires rebellion.

    Whether it’s Purcell or someone else, this show will have only one true Spartacus, and hopefully the producers will realize this and not close the door on the return of the original actor by having his replacement portray the same character.

  16. Mimi says:

    Hell, YES!!!!!! He is perfect for this! Both his physical and vocal qualities make him the best one for this role.

  17. amy says:

    His looks and physique are much more like Crixus than Spartacus. I’d like them to cast someone similar in looks, acting and body type for Spartacus to make it easier to believe rather than have someone who looks completely different.

  18. Rose says:

    I loved Dominic in Prison break but I’m afraid that I don’t see him well as Andy’s replacement! IMO he looks too much like Crisus physically so I don’t see them well playing against each other!
    Can’t they just wait for Andy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????

  19. amy says:

    I think he’s a good choice. A lot will depend on how the show handles it, of course, but Purcell has the physique and the chops to handle the role.

  20. He would be perfect :)

  21. Polly says:


  22. PV says:

    omg yes. !!

  23. Mike says:

    i would choose Dominic Purcell over McIntyre but would choose Wentworth Miller over all contenders for many different reasons…

  24. Carlos says:

    Very…..Bad……Idea. No slag on Dominic Purcell. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and has done some OK stuff. (although Blade Trilogy was just terrible).

    Could he play a Roman gladiator in this show? Sure! But he bears no resemblance to Andy Whitfield. To maintain some sense of visual continuity you would need an actor who very much resemble Andy; and Dominic Purcell isn’t that actor.

    Sorry, again no slag on Dominic here but Spartacus is the romantic lead of the show and Dominic Purcell isn’t it.

    The producers need to keep looking.

  25. Raechel says:

    Ok heres the thing everyone knows it isn’t gonna be Andy so picking some who some what looks like him isn’t going to make it better, so just choose a new person and get it over with. I personally would pick Dom cuz he is more my personal type over McIntyre. Who ever it turns out to be is always gonna be compared to Andy and never be the real Spartacus.

  26. Kim says:

    I like Liam the best but either one would be great! Soooo cute!!!

  27. kp34 says:

    yesss dominic purcell is waay better then the other Australian guy

  28. demi says:

    Dom for sure! He would be perfect not only is he a great actor and while no one could truly replace Andy Whitfield, I think DP would make an excellent, slightly older Spartacus.

  29. ohyea says:

    Yeah baby, he is fine!

  30. Lili says:

    If it comes down to a choice between Purcell and McIntyre, who would you choose?


  31. K says:

    I would much rather see Dom as Spartacus.

  32. Lucy says:

    I think he would be great!

  33. qL says:

    Yes!! Dom would be an awesome choice! The best one out of all the actors who’ve tried out for this role. And he’s so hot. He’d make a perfect gladiator.

  34. flora says:

    DP is sexy and oozing of manliness. And a good actor on top of that. He would be a great Spartacus, who cares if he doesn’t look like Andy? No one is going to be able to pull off a body double. Going to have to get used to a new actor, no matter who it is. Wouldn’t mind having to look at him in armor and sandals, either.

  35. Rebekah says:

    I think he’s perfect for the role, he’s masculine, he’s got emotional range. I know people are scratching their heads at that statement, but Dom’s more than Lincoln Burrows, who became very one note after a time(I blame the writers, not Dom). I saw him first on John Doe years ago, and loved it, and him. Spartacus would be an amazing role for him to take on, and yes the benefit of running around in those costumes adds a great amount of appeal.

  36. hidilo says:

    I prefer WENTWORTH MILLER. He has the feel!

  37. wayne b. says:

    glad to see story will continue.i`m sure D. Purcell will do very well as Spartacus.

  38. toast says:

    He’d be a pretty good choice. I just hope they bring the series back quick, before people forget all about it and it tanks in the next season.

  39. apfan says:

    Purcell definately, He really is a hunk and I loved him in Prison break (after wentworth Miller)

  40. Okejula says:

    I don’t care who replaces andy, what I care is the production of it, i have been xpecting the season 2. Please stop delibrating on who to use. Well D.P is ok.

  41. Lovie Farace says:

    Great article. Waiting for more.

  42. karen says:

    Dominic Purcell 100 %

  43. andrew says:

    hey iam andrew=

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