“I am Spartacus!”
Liam McIntyre delivers the line ferociously in the Season 2 trailer that played during the “Spartacus: Vengeance” panel Friday night at Comic-Con International. And there was no refuting his declaration. His new disciples in the room cheered him on.
McIntyre takes over the role originally played by Andy Whitfield, who left the Starz period drama due to his ongoing battle with cancer.
“It’s an absolute mind-bending journey so far,” McIntyre said. “It’s a great privilege. A Great honor … a great responsibility.”
And the cast has been supportive of his arrival—hazing the newbie would have been kind of difficult: “There’s not a lot of pants [on the show] to pull down.” Still, he couldn’t help note the bittersweet aspect of taking on the role that fans identify with someone else.
“It’s hard. You kind of wish you didn’t have the opportunity,” the Australian actor said. “The best thing I can do is bust my [butt] … and honor the legacy.”
Executive producer Steven S. DeKnight assured fans that Whitfield is doing well and has been vocal about tackling another project together — a project in which he wouldn’t have to take his clothes off, DeKnight said.
When it comes to keeping things consistent, DeKnight says there are few flashback scenes with Spartacus except for a brief one that was re-shot with McIntyre. As the season progresses, viewers can expect to see Spartacus learn how to be a leader.
“Last season he had an ax to grind,” DeKnight said. “Now he’s getting the bigger picture.” But “Vengeance” is part of the title, and there will be lots of it, only Spartacus isn’t the only one seeking it.
“I’m going to claw my way back to some kind of platform of power,” said Comic-Con patron saint Lucy Lawless, who plays Lucretia.
And if there appeared to be a lot of bloodshed last season, prepare for more when the second season premieres in January.
“The plan for the second season is to kill more people,” DeKnight said. “There’s an episode where we kill a lot of people.”
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