The prequel of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" which Starz announced earlier this year is taking shape with the addition of three new faces. Dustin Clare, Jaime Murray and Marisa Ramirez are all on board the classic tale project which has been titled "Gods of the Arena".
Clare, according to THR, will take the lead role of Gannicus aka the "the champion gladiator in the House of Batiatus before Spartacus came along." Consequently, Andy Whitfield's Spartacus will make an appearance sometime in the prequel although only briefly. The actor who was diagnosed with cancer has been cleared to work again.
In the prequel, Gannicus is the lead gladiator in the Ludus and Batiatus has not ascended to the position as the gladiator training school's head. House of Batiatus hasn't earned social respect or the right for its gladiators to fight in championship bouts, so Gannicus struggles to turn around the House's luck.
Meanwhile, Murray who triumphed on "Dexter" as the obsessive Lila Tournay, will be a social climber in Capua. "General Hospital" star Ramirez would be a slave girl. Production begins in August for six episodes and the pilot will be screened in January.