Starz has begun the second wave of its campaign for "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" which is coming January 21, 2011. Around four months after the first teaser was released, the cable drops another one which gives an actual footage of the first champion of Capua. At the same time, the first artwork displays the remarkably in-shape gladiator.
"Gods of Arena", the prequel to "Spartacus: Blood and Sand", is starring Dustin Clare who like Andy Whitfield was little known actor before going on board "Spartacus". Clare plays the original Champion of the House of Batiatus: Gannicus who lived in a more ruthless time before Spartacus' arrival where honor was just finding its way into the arena.
The new series adds to the cast Jaime Murray as Capua's sexy social climber Gaia and Marisa Ramirez as Melitta, a beautiful slave who must face the ultimate decision of the heart. Jeffrey Thomas plays Batiatus' father Titus, the traditional and cautious Lanista, head of the Ludus.
Not involving Whitfield who is battling Hodgkin Lymphoma, the prequel sees the return of John Hannah (Quintus Batiatus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Peter Mensah (Oenomaus, before he becomes Doctore, the gladiator trainer) and Manu Bennett (Crixus).
"Gods of Arena" is intended to fill the void while "Blood and Sand" is still finding a replacement for Whitfield. The latest casting report suggested that the producers had whittled it down to three, Stephen Amell, Aiden Turner and Liam McIntyre.