Starz is getting back into the swords and sandals biz.
The cable net announced Thursday that it is developing a new iteration of Spartacus, with the franchise’s original creator, Steven S. DeKnight, on board as showrunner/EP. Per Starz, the quasi-reboot “will explore uncharted territory and new journeys of the original series’ iconic characters.” Set in the aftermath of defeat of Spartacus and his rebel army, Spartacus 2.0 will “depict a new tale of treachery, deceit, and blood unfolding beneath the foreboding shadow of Rome.”
The original Blood and Sand-edition season of Spartacus launched on Starz in 2010 with Andy Whitfield in the titular role. Following Whitfield’s death from cancer in 2011, Liam McIntyre stepped into the starring role in Seasons 2 (Spartacus: Vengeance) and 3 (Spartacus: War of the Damned). A six-episode prequel series, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, aired between Seasons 1 and 2.
“It has been over a decade since Spartacus delighted international audiences and we are thrilled to reimagine and expand this gripping, action-packed drama for our viewers today,” said Kathryn Busby, President of Original Programming at Starz, in a statement. “Spartacus has deeply invested fans who are eager for its return, and we look forward to working with Steven on this exciting next chapter.”
Added DeKnight: “It’s such an incredible honor to be invited to return to the world of Spartacus and to be met with unbridled creative support from my colleagues at Starz and Lionsgate. Together we are crafting something truly unique and unusual for the next chapter in this epic story.”
It remains unclear if any of the original series’ stars will be back for the update.