Starz Orders Up a‘Spartacus’ Prequel

With the series’ lead actor
undergoing cancer treatment, Starz
is turning its Spartacus franchise to
a prequel.

The premium network has ordered
a six-installment precursor to Spartacus:
Blood and Sand
, eyeing a January

The story will center on John
Hannah and Lucy Lawless, the husband
(Batiatus) and wife (Lucretia)
team that ran the Ludus, the gladiator
training camp where Spartacus
trained and became a star of the arena.
Both were killed in the first-season

The prequel will feature Andy Whitfield,
who plays the title character,
in “a limited capacity,” according to

Whitfield has been diagnosed with
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and is undergoing

Before the series even debuted,
Starz committed to a 13-episode second