Entertainment Weekly has broken the news that the third season of Starz’ blood and sex epic Spartacus will be the series’ last.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand premiered in January of 2010 as an equally flashy and dirty take on the historical slave-turned-gladiator hero, Spartacus. Despite some obvious visual similarities to the film 300, Spartacus quickly distinguished itself with its complex, Deadwood-esque dialogue; deep characters; and complete lack of inhibitions, picking up many fans along the way.
Actor Andy Whitfield, who played Spartacus himself, fell ill and later passed away shortly after completion of the first season. During his illness, a half-season prequel was produced, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, which followed the show’s supporting characters, especially the Machiavellian Batiatus, prior to their meeting with Spartacus.
The lead roll was then recast, with actor Liam MyIntyre taking over for the series’ recently aired official second season, Spartacus: Vengeance. Liam will return again for the shows final season, Spartacus: War of the Damned in January of 2013.
“This season is bigger than anything we’ve attempted. The scope and scale is just amazing. We’re dealing with massive battles between thousands of people. We hope to leave people feel satisfied,” said series creator Steven S. Deknight of the upcoming third season. His previous work includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Smallville.
He continues, “Looking at the story in the history books, it’s wave after wave of Roman senators going after Spartacus who are defeated until [Roman general Marcus Crassus] comes in. So let’s pick out the most interesting moments in this struggle and lay out a clear narrative for Spartacus and his rebellion. I wanted to lay out a strong forward narrative with a strong antagonist.”