The future of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" was thrown in a balance when star Andy Whitfield announced that his cancer has come back. Doing their part in making a decision, Starz execs admit that they are still in between two options, recast or cancel.
"The two main options are to close up shop or recast," said exec producer Steven S. DeKnight in a statement to EW. "I want to talk to Andy and find out how he feels about the options. That's obviously very important to us."
Whitfield was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this year and his treatment in New Zealand delayed the production of season 2 which is supposed to be aired next year. Just a week ago, Whitfield announced that the disease has returned and he withdrew from the second season completely to endure an "aggressive treatment".
"We're still absorbing what's happened. I think it's going to be a little while before we reach any conclusions," DeKnight said, adding Whitfield is a "trooper" who has "a very positive outlook".
While the second season is still a question mark, a prequel to the series which doesn't involve Whitfield's character will be aired in January 2011. Called "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena", the series will recall the time Batiatus is not yet the head of his family or of the gladiator training school and Gannicus is the lead gladiator in the Ludus.