Beloved hero Spartacus will fight his last battle—at least in his current incarnation. Producers of the hit Starz epic drama have announced the upcoming third season of Spartacus will be its last.
Creator and executive producer Steven S. DeKnight said the decision, made in conjunction with his production team, was “extremely difficult and emotional” and so they decided to go out with a bang. “(I)n the end, the story was best served by rolling all of the remaining action and drama of Spartacus’ journey into one stunningly epic season that will be extremely satisfying for everyone who’s been along for the ride.”
Fans have become particularly attached to the show following the sudden, shocking death of its original leading man, Andy Whitfield, from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He died in September 2011 and was replaced by newcomer Liam McIntyre.
CLICK HERE for Brave New Hollywood’s coverage of McIntyre taking over the iconic role.
The final season is currently filming in New Zealand and will be subtitled War of the Damned as “Spartacus’ rebellion swells following the defeat of Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber,” notes the press announcement.
Starz CEO Chris Albrecht called the show “a landmark series for the network which has enthralled millions of viewers and fans around the world. We are in agreement with our partners in the decision to conclude the story after ‘War of the Damned,’ as we believe it is the best way to maintain the integrity of the series and secure its legacy.”
In related news, Deadline.com reports the producers of a documentary chronicling Whitfield’s final days have reached out to his fans for help. The film, titled Be Here Now, is directed by Oscar-nominated documentarian Lilibet Foster, who was born in the same, small Welsh town as Whitfield.
CLICK HERE for Brave New Hollywood’s coverage of Whitfield’s passing.
She spent a year traveling with his family “as the actor went through grueling rounds of chemo and traveled toIndiafor a shot at an Eastern medicine treatment,” reports Deadline.
When Whitfield’s cancer returned, he and his wife got matching “Be Here Now” tattoos symbolizing their determination to “take the healing in their own hands,” said Foster. “It’s a very beautiful, poetic and inspirational film.”
Filming continued until a week prior to Whitfield’s death. The filmmakers seek to raise $200,000 in completion funds and have asked the Spartacus fan community to spread the word.
CLICK HERE for the film’s Kickstarter page.