“Spartacus” will continue on without Andy Whitfield, an executive for the show confirmed on Friday.
“We are looking at potential actors to play Spartacus,” executive producer Rob Tapert told journalists at the Television Critics Association Winter 2011 Session for the Starz network in Pasadena, Calif., on Friday.
Rob added that Starz, the network which airs the bloody drama about men fighting in the ring in Rome, has green lit a second season without Andy, who was unable to film a Season 2 due to battling Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a condition the actor first revealed early last year.
“They’ve committed to going forward with Season 2, [and] that Andy Whitfield, who is unable to play Spartacus, will be recast,” Rob said.
“Nothing good came from losing Andy, in terms of the guy for that role,” he added.
The producer said that having filmed “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” in the meantime, a prequel series to “Spartacus” which premieres later this month, has made them more prepared to deal with the departure of Andy.
“We have had the luxury now of building an infrastructure,” he said. “If there’s any upside to Andy’s illness, [it is that] we are better prepared to support the new Spartacus when he comes into the role. “
Tapert said that having built a backstory with the prequel show, which stars Lucy Lawless, John Hannah, Peter Mensah and newcomer Dustin Clarke, when they start filming “Spartacus” Season 2, they’ll be in a good place — when they find the right actor.
“It’s a different world and a different set of shoes to fill and we feel confident, as does Starz, that we will find the right person for that,” he said.
A network executive added that they have “remained in close contact with Andy,” who they said was “supportive” of Starz’s efforts “to recast this role.”