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 debut.
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 finale.
The prequel will feature Andy Whitfield, who plays the title character, in "a limited capacity," according to Starz.
Whitfield has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and is undergoing treatment.
Before the series even debuted, Starz committed to a 13-episode second campaign.
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