Breaking: Liam McIntyre Is the New Spartacus

Get More: Casting News, News, Scoop

After an exhaustive search, Starz has officially tapped Aussie actor Liam McIntyre (HBO’s The Pacific) to replace the ailing Andy Whitfield as the new star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

The news comes a week after TVLine reported that McIntyre was the odds-on favorite to score the plum role.

“Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly lead Spartacus forward,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht in a statement. “It was important to us to have Andy endorse the idea of recasting this part, which he did in the same heroic manner that he’s dealt with his whole ordeal. And that, coupled with our fortune in finding a young actor with the gladiator credentials and the acting ability of Liam, makes it easier for us to keep this hit franchise going.”

In the release put out by Starz, the network referred to the “grueling and rigorous audition process” that McIntyre went through to claim the title role — and they’re not exaggerating. According to sources, McIntyre — whose slight build initially led execs to rule him out as Sparty — underwent two-plus months of boot camp to bulk up for the part.

In September, news broke that Whitfield was dropping out of Spartacus‘ second season to undergo treatment for a recurrence of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Starz debated whether to end the series or embark on the daunting task of recasting the lead. With Whitfield’s blessing in hand, the network ultimately decided the show must go on.

McIntyre assumes the role at the start of the show’s second season, which begins shooting later this spring.

In the meantime, fans can get their Sparty fix with Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, a six-part prequel debuting this Friday at 10 pm/ET.

Thoughts? Is McIntyre the right man for the job? Weigh in below!

Comments (22)

  • HELL NO, this guys sucks. BOOOO!

    Comment by Demi – January 17, 2011 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Any news on Andy’s condition? So awful…he’s in my thoughts & prayers.

    Comment by mirvin365 – January 17, 2011 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • At least McIntyre bears a slight resemblance to Whitfield. That’ll make the recasting a bit less jarring. I’m really glad they didn’t go with Dominic Purcell after seeing his name pop up in the last couple of weeks.

    Comment by Tucker – January 17, 2011 01:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great News! Cannot wait for the Prequel to start this week.

    Comment by K. Murphy – January 17, 2011 01:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I heard McIntyre is really skinny, so hopefully he bulks up alot before season 2 goes into production. I’m fine with this choice. I liked Andy, but he was a relatively inexperienced actor, so it’s not like they are replacing a huge star.

    Comment by Don J – January 17, 2011 01:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • But Andy had really gotten into the role and made it his own. Agree with the bulking up part though, because it’s just not going to work if he hasn’t got huge muscles like the rest of the gladiators.

    Comment by Emily – January 17, 2011 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why can’t they Just wait… the poor man has cancer and has truly made this role his own. if they just swap out actors it looses everything for they are what brought this show to life and it will not be the same. Only sequels with the original cast ever work! Wait or it will be a flop!

    Comment by Lysander – January 17, 2011 02:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Andy told them to move forward without him, it was his decision. Didn’t want everyone working on the show to have to sacrifice their job whilst he recieved treatment.

      Comment by Emily – January 18, 2011 08:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m not loving this casting choice at all. Andy was perfect for the part. I never seen Liam in anything so I don’t really know what to think but just based on the pictures I don’t like him at all for Spartacus.

    Comment by patricia – January 17, 2011 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No judgment on him, but booo. I was hoping for Wentworth Miller. Perhaps he can find another Starz/Showtime/HBO series.

    Comment by John Berggren – January 17, 2011 03:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was hoping for Dominic Purcell. LOL! But I agree this guy doesn’t stand a chance and no offense but nobody can replace Andy.

      Comment by V – January 17, 2011 05:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • McIntyre will be pretty damn good I reckon. Just watch it an see you guys.

    Comment by Katherine – January 17, 2011 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think they should have waited longer to see if Andy’s condition was improving. He was perfect! Showtime & HBO wait months and months between seasons. Sopranos?????

    Comment by Karen – January 17, 2011 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They’ve waited a year (hence the prequel) and Andy was ready to continue but then the cancer returned. Andy resigned himself which is totally understandable. You just can’t wait 3 years between 2 seasons. Give Liam a chance. So far the casting for this show was excellent.

      Comment by TL – January 18, 2011 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • looks good. Of course he will always be compared to Andy, but I have faith in the network’s decision so I’ll be eagerly tuning in for season 2.

    Comment by PV – January 18, 2011 07:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The show must go on. We all feel bad for Andy but hardly any other network would have done what Starz did. Andy is relatively unknown and Spartacus is Starz’s ONLY hit show. Instead of going forward they already waited and shot a prequel. Starz did their best in that situation but now they need to move on.

    Comment by Liam – January 18, 2011 12:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Meh. I was excited when I heard Dominic Purcell might take the role, but now I’m apathetic. I’ll wait and see, but no great expectations.

    Comment by J – January 18, 2011 05:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with Demi-There is no-one that can take the place of Andy Whitfield in Spartacus! However, I am willing to give this new guy a shot! Spartacus is definately one of the best series made in a long time! I am wondering about what they are going to do about Badiadus being dead and Lucretia near death! This should be very interesting! I am really glad that they are not cancelling this show. I hope their will be more excitement to come! Love ya’ Andy! Sure wish you would stay on board! Hope you are feeling better!

    Comment by Debbie Tantarelli – March 1, 2011 03:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by Diamont Heart – April 11, 2011 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m just not feeling it with the new guys, he looks like a commoner, Andy however had a chisel cut face with a mysterious look about him, he looked like a hero, Liam however just looks avarage.

    Comment by Chris – May 10, 2011 06:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • WENTWORTH MILLER is better!!! Im not gonna see the serie with this guy! I really want wenthworth!!!!! Please change it!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Noe – June 24, 2011 05:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bugger Spartacus, I just want to see Viva Bianca starkers.

    Comment by Hugh Jampton – September 6, 2011 04:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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