Ain't It Cool News (

Starz Names New

I am – Hercules!!

Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd reports 28-year-old Australian actor Liam McIntyre, who played Lew in “Iwo Jima,” the antepenultimate episode of HBO’s “The Pacific,” is Starz’s choice to replace the ailing Andy Whitfield in the title role of “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”

The series, whose first season launched about this time last year, will see its second season debut about this time next year. Starz is currently airing the six-hour prequel miniseries “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.”

Find all of Hibberd’s story on the matter here.




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Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Whitfield would beat the shit out of this guy

    by MattmanReturns

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:32 p.m. CST

    I already hate him because he's not Andy Whitfield

    by Redhead_Redemption

    Nothing personal buddy, but You need to prove you can be as good as Andy was in the role. I was really hoping With the year break Andy would have a chance to get better and we'd see him return, at least he'll cameo in the prequel

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Has anyone found out how Whitfield is doing?

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    I rented the DVD's last month, and what started as a psuedo 300, became a damn good series, with a fine performance from Mr. Whitfield. Hope he recovers soon.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Is it just me

    by damned-dirty-ape

    Or did anyone else think that was Sam Worthington just by the photo.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    at least he kinda looks like Whitfield

    by brightgeist

    but i still hate this. i don't hate the guy, i hate the cancer or whatever caused this. stupid cancer

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Not Worthington - but like the younger brother of the

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    preist on V, or the guy from The 4400, or Eureka...or is that the same actor in each? They look the same to me.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Andy Whitfield will Return!

    by BlackBriar

    Andy kicks Ass, The guy made the series what it is. I agree, Andy can kick this guy Ass! I have Faith, Get well soon Pal!

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Hats of to the production company

    by Dark_Equalizer

    At least they tried to wait for Andy to recover by doing the mini series before having to re cast. I cant now hold it against the show or this new guy, as I beleive they ahve done all they can

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Whitfield now

    by 7Cal

    Saw a paparazzi~esqu photo of Whitfield walking down the street with his family. He looks very thin- not ready to be back any time soon. Like everyone other Spartacus fan I hated the news of the cancer, but now I'm glad they just recast and moved on. If they waited for Andy, all the other cast, writers, etc., would have gone to the four winds on other projects.<br><br>At least now they have a chance to carry on with everything else that made the series great, except Andy. Granted, he's the single biggest piece, but that's still a small slice of everything that went into making Spartacus an awesome TV pie.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 4:32 p.m. CST

    all the best whitfield

    by commandersheppard

    andy made the series, lets give this new guy a chance. If not we can forget season two was ever made... kinda like heroes! andy needs to get better for mass effect... you know he would make the best commander sheppard!

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Spartacus: Gods of the Arena begins this Friday.

    by Thanos0145

    At least Andy Whitfield will have a cameo in this prequel mini series.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Whitfield is in last 2 episodes of Gods of the Arena I believe.

    by Sloppy2nds

    I hope he gets well, what a fantastic show. This new Spartacus looks like he'll be taking it in the ass as well as giving it.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 4:57 p.m. CST

    I guess.....

    by Nick

    It really doesnt matter who plays him next season if they can successfully change the tone of the show from hyperstylized to more "political" like they plan to. But by the end of the 1st season Andy really grew on me!

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST

    The best show most people didn't watch last year...

    by V'Shael

    Yeah, he's not Andy. But fuck, there are so many great actors in this show. I will watch it, and give the new guy a chance. But he has some mighty big sandals to fill.

  • last year. It was based on their comments that I went back to it after the pilot was so bad. I feel lucky now, to have seen the show.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Wishing andy the best

    by grendel69

    That is all

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 6:06 p.m. CST


    by Squinty CGI Flynn

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Get well Andy

    by Darth Thoth

    Wishing you all the best man. God bless.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 6:38 p.m. CST

    i am spartacus.

    by alice133

    i think you could find a closer close up of that guy.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 6:40 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    Sure it sucks to lose Whitfield but the alternative would be to lose the show and/or the rest of the cast/crew. And the cast and crew gotta eat! The fact that the team tried to buy time with the miniseries gives them a free pass in my book - that's about the most elaborate good faith effort you can make on behalf of your lead.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Love ya, Andy! Good luck!

    by dead youngling

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 7 p.m. CST

    Going forward

    by Darth Thoth

    I also give the production company props for waiting for as long as they could, it appears. Again, here's wishing Andy a great recovery. I hope this new guy can do well in the role. I do not think I've ever seen a show do a complete 180 like Spartacus did. In the beginning, the first few episodes were meh and average, favoring shock value over substance. But by the end of the season the show had developed amazing dramatic arcs and storylines. It matured into a really good show.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 7:24 p.m. CST

    I remember railing against the show...

    by Bass Ackwards

    ...right here in the AICN talkbacks, those first few episodes were pretty terrible. Glad I stuck with it though, to repeat darth tron above me, the show turned itself around in the 3rd and 4th episodes, and as soon as it found its voice it moved forward strongly and ended up with a pretty amazing first season (which this news has spurred me into rewatching). I'm heartbroken we won't see Whitfield return to continue this story, but hopeful that the show can move on successfully. Over at AV Club their article has a picture of the new guy that gives a bit more confidence (at least in regards to resemblance), so fingers crossed!

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 7:29 p.m. CST


    by blackwood

    Glad more people cottoned to how fantastic SPARTACUS is. I will definitely miss Andy, and wish him a lasting recovery, but I'm glad they are moving forward. I respect that Starz waited as long as they did.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Get Well Andy

    by raidahguy

    Movies and TV need you. You are the man. Spartucus was the best show of last year. Nuf Said

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Isn't this show kind of like

    by ufoclub1977

    Those cheap muscle mags at the grocery store? They're actually a front for the audience or customer to ogle guys without an explicitly public declaration of orientation variance? Keeping curiosity in the closet? They had to cast an actor who would be cool with full frontal, right? Actually I think that's just a whole legitimate genre of media there... the in-the-closet appeal. But on top of that, isn't this a cheap rip of "300"? I did dig the abstracted outlandish special effects gore of the pilot that I saw.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Seen more pictures of Liam McIntyre and he's a god choice for likeness..

    by CeejayNightwing

    He'll have to shape up physically a little but he'll have plenty of time to do that. Kudos to the production company for giving Andy a long time to get better before they went ahead on the inevitable. The show must go on so i hope people will stop with the Liam McIntyre hating and support the production. It had a great first season and I can't bloody wait any longer for more outlandish blood, sex and violence! "KILL THEM ALL!!!!" & Get Well soon Andy!

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 9:31 p.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    Starz is on a fucking roll!

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Sorry to say it

    by Mordock57

    I have no interest in watching this series with the lead role recast. Andy made us care about this character. The writing was good, but not so good that it deserves to be carried on with another actor. They'd be far better off waiting for Andy Whitfield to recuperate... or not to continue with the show at all.

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 10 p.m. CST

    Andy Whitfield

    by ColloquiallyBorn

    Nothing else to say but a "Get well soon and hope you beat it!" ..

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    cant wait to see...

    by JaredP

    the hot lesbian fuck scene between the ultra hot red headed lucy lawless and the equally sexy jaime murray from dexter

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 10:08 p.m. CST

    ten years after xena

    by JaredP

    and we finally get to see lucy with another woman think how hot her and gabrielle wouldve looked in bed together

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Robbed of continuity pales by comparison

    by nemoiam

    I'm sure the new guy is perfectly nice, but Andy I know you well get well soon. You are Spartacus. (yeah yeah Kirk Douglas too)

  • Jan. 17, 2011, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Can't wait for Camelot.

    by mistergreen

    Starz is doing good work.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Andy, you will always be Spartacus!

    by thevision

    I attended the Comic Con Spartacus panel back in July and Andy looked great, he was all set to go for Season 2...what a shame! Kudos to Steve DeKnight and Starz for doing the prequel so Andy could recover, too bad the fucking cancer came back- charismatic actor and loving family man gets cancer while a self-destructive FuckWad like Charlie Sheen will probably live to 100! The show must go on and I will definitely give Liam a chance to carry on the role... but with respect to him, Goran Visnjic and the great Kirk Douglas, Andy Whitfield will always be Spartacus to me!

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 1:08 a.m. CST

    I think this will always be a case of "Imagine if ..."

    by FrodoFraggins

    When does replacing the lead character with a new actor ever work? It would be like replacing Samantha on Bewitched instead of Darren. I'll definitely watch it and understand why Starz is forced to do this, but I just don't think they'll be able to pull it off.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 2:13 a.m. CST

    I'm sure he'll do fine.

    by The Founder

    Rarly can an original actor be replaced but here we don't have much choice. The poor guy Whitfield is ill. I wish him the best on his recovery. I'm sure the production went through a ton of actors to find the right guy. I'll give him a chance.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 3:04 a.m. CST

    @ufoclub1977 - Dude, you couldn't be more wrong.

    by V'Shael

    The show had more tits in it than virtually any other show last year. Including Lucy Lawless's. And yes, she is not as young as she used to be, but damn... It's nothing like 300 either, though the pilot is misleading on that score. If anything, it's closer to ROME, only with a narrower political scope. Now, if you think that seeing the occasional butt-fucking scene might somehow bring on a case of "teh gay", sure, stay away.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:29 a.m. CST

    ROME was canceled after 2 seasons only!

    by AsimovLives

    Now that's what i call a crime.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 7:54 a.m. CST

    starzzzz (pronounced with a lisp)

    by TheManWhoCan

    The show did not get any better as it went on, Just incase anyone is (bi)curious about this show, I saw the first/middle and final episode and im sorry, but the faux intregue and plots where as cartoony as the stupid OTT sex and violence. <p> began bad<p> ended bad <p> Non-gays that like this stupid show are the male equvilent of Sex and the City/Desparate housewives demographic, i.e easy to please,unsopisticated and imature!

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 8:30 a.m. CST

    @themanwhocan -

    by V'Shael

    By your own admission, you only saw the first, middle and final episode. How the hell can anyone take your opinion seriously? Twatwhocan't more like.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Another example of trying too hard to be awesome.

    by Alucinor

    I wrote an article about it if anybody would like to read it-

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 10:21 a.m. CST

    The show was a guilty pleasure

    by seasider

    The violence, sex and dialogue and acting was so over the top but it worked for the depiction of Rome they were going for. In a strange way the show is an accurate illustration of life as a Gladiator in the Roman Empire. I was actually kind of sad when John Hannah's Batiatus character got killed off because he was just fun to watch. It's unfortunate about Whitfield but I think replacing him and moving on is the right thing to do for both parties. The producers have a show to do and they can't keep delaying it. Whitfield needs to just concentrate on getting healthy.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 11:45 a.m. CST

    The Appeal

    by JaguarWong

    "Actually I think that's just a whole legitimate genre of media there... the in-the-closet appeal." That's all fine and good... but how about the "So THIS Is Why My Wife Will Watch This Hyper-violent, Boob-filled Show With Me" appeal? My Old Lady dug the beefcake and the romance/soap opera elements. I dug the action, gore, naked women (to include Xena MILF) and scenery-chewing dramatics. WIN-WIN.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST


    by thommcg

    It's starts off like a T&A enhanced 300, but it's actually fucking brilliant. The story is surprisingly, shockingly good... not to mention Batiatus' no-holds-barred dialog.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST


    by thommcg

    Yes, how better to form an opinion of an entire series than by watching 2 or 3 out of sequence episodes...

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Sorry but it's not the same without Andy.

    by Stalkeye

    Anyways, I will watch out of curiosity and should the 2nd season become a total letdown, there's always the fist season on my netflix queue to re watch. bummer indeed.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Let me explain "in the closet appeal"

    by ufoclub1977

    Yes I have seen parts of the show, and saw some Lucy Lawless topless nudity. I realize that there is stuff that appeals to straight inclinations in the male audience too. But all the men including the lead hero have been topless AND bottomless! And normally the show makes it a point to emphasize male bulges, and prettyboy/handsome male faces (along with having a blood splatter fetish). The actors are on record to say they wear pieces that emphasize their peni (can peni be the plural of penis today?) They are exploiting/showcasing muscle male model/actors in a non-realistic way for a reason. I think they are hitting a certain need in popular culture. A on-the-down-low need! But I don't think this de-validates the show at all. Just making a note. They could have cast ugly lumpy, but strong guys. I understand it has qualities that could appeal to a wide audience. But honestly the most garishly visible ingredient to this show (in my opinion) is the masculine beauty/nudity mixed with strong male on male physical interaction (using the violence/training as a stylized way of showing male to male physical interaction). But of course it will appeal to horny red blooded females too! I once knew some female strippers who regularly watched that male gay drama "Queer as Folk" on ... Showtime... and they loved the man on man action! Kind of like the role reversal of when guys want to see girl on girl action. But don't you all think this show was a reaction to "300"? The new greenscreen fantasy genre? Where you use stylized compositing and hyper color correction as a style?

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    "Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"

    by allykatD

    I just had to quote that, surprised no one else did. Or maybe they did in an earlier talkback about Sparticus. I haven't been able to get past the first half hour of the first episode, even though a show featuring half naked men is definitely something that interests me. Maybe I should try again and just hit the mute button so I can see the show but not listen to the awful dialogue.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Okay, by reading all the above...

    by allykatD

    it seems like I should just push past the shitty pilot and it gets good at episode 3. I can do that. I'm always game for some male nudity.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST


    by palewook

    glad the show is going on, but really wanted andy back. he made the 1st season work. just when you thought spartacus was crap after the first 3 episodes, it came to life and started kicking ass. hope they keep Peter Mensah around. going to be weird without andy as the main character but the bbc pulls off switching cast members in some of its shows. who knows, this might work.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Kinda resembles a young Ed Harris...

    by Xamfargo

    Look at him closely.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    I'm glad

    by Wookie_1995

    in the talk back we can all at least agree andy was fucking awesome as spartacus. And I really hope he kicks his cancer in the ASS! and I can't wait for his glorious return Best Wishes Wookie_1995

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 4:48 p.m. CST

    and Liam McIntyre

    by Wookie_1995

    You have HUGE sandals to fill..

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 4:57 p.m. CST


    by evilnerd

    Wow I am surprised that Spartacus won't be portrayed by some tougher than any dude-hot-female heroin. So theres still hope for american cinema!

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Liam may look like a pretty boy

    by seasider

    but I'm sure they'll ugly him up a bit. A scruffy beard with a dirty face will help.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 7:34 p.m. CST

    the show will be fine recasted.

    by Warcraft

    It sucked when richard harris died, but michael gambon did just fine as the dumbledor replacement, and now i can only see him in the role.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 9:46 p.m. CST


    by SmokieGeezer

    I cannot stop posting this until it happens. Karl Thommason deserves to come back NOW

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:37 a.m. CST

    let me expain my forming an opinion of the show!

    by TheManWhoCan

    Remember when the Sopranos came out? or the Wire or Rome.?Remember catching a show for the first time usually mid season? Maybe for the frist time in the second season and thinking "wow this show is cool, ill go back and watch it from the start"? <p> Those shows were good shows; the tone was right, the direction and dialogue tight, witty and clever. It didn't matter that you had missed the first few episodes or even seasons. <p> Yes by my own admission I didn’t watch every episode, I only caught the first, middle, and (last half of) the last episode. I gave up after the first episode but the talkbacker on this site kept banging on about how good it gets later on, so I give it a second a and half assed 3rd chance. <p> Watching a show like that is really the only way to form an objective opinion about how good or bad a show truly is. Otherwise you are just watching to see-what-happens, which is soap opera territory when you have been sucked in. Story arcs are important in TV shows sure, but arcs alone do not a good show make. The episodes have to stand alone, and for what Sparticus is (a very shallow erotic fantasy) it succeeds. It’s not what I want from TV however. I feel sorry for the people who got sucked into the “story” and think its something that it’s not. <p>

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Spartacus is not erotic fantasy. Shallow or otherwise.

    by V'Shael

    You're just making yourself look like an even bigger twit when you come out with stuff like that. Again, you didn't watch the show, you've no idea what you're talking about.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Great News

    by _Maltheus_

    I was worried they weren't gonna do a season 2. Sucks about the dudes cancer, but it's the only decent new show in years. Recasting was the right move. And I would have never given it a shot, if not for the people here. So thanks for that. This is probably my favorite show on TV right now, after Breaking Bad.