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!