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CONFIRMED: Starz To Recast Andy Whitfield In ‘Spartacus: Blood And Sand’
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Last week it was revealed that Starz was in the midst of making a very difficult decision regarding their hit show Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Their star, Andy Whitfield, has been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma in an attempt to return for a second season of the show, but a recent setback has his doctors recommending another round of aggressive treatments. This forced the network to look at their tough options: delay longer, recast Whitfield, or cancel the show altogether.

It appears that Starz has made their decision, and though it seemed to be the most likely choice, it will take a while for fans to accept it. An official casting call has been sent out, looking for that all-important actor to fill the massive sandals that Whitfield created in the great first season. The notice details that they’re looking for someone in their mid to late 30s who can speak in an authentic British accent, can effectively portray the “smart, intense, and passionate” title role, and who’s able to sign a three-year contract.

At first the option to wait it out sounded like one of the options, but with this news it looks like the only options they were really considering were to recast or cancel the show. This is a little hard to swallow for those of us who had hopes of them doing a season concentrating on another character and seeing how things looked for season 3. Nevertheless, this is a business and recasting is what Starz feels is their best bet. There’s no doubt that as much as this will break the fans’ collective hearts, recasting and getting more Spartacus is a much better option than losing the show completely. It will take time to warm up to whomever they bring in, but over time, viewers will surely warm up to the new face.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Andy Whitfield was completely behind this decision, and for all we know it was his decision to step away so the show could move forward. As reported earlier, Starz has made it very clear that Whitfield will still remain employed on the show in a yet-to-be determined role — a very admirable gesture by the network.

Knowing this now, let your voices be heard: who out there fits the casting description that you’d like to see take on the role of Spartacus?

[Source: EW]

35 Comments »

  1. I just want to cry. I can’t see another actor in Andy’s role. I wish they would create an alternate Spartacus – using it as a title rather than just one person. But I wouldn’t want Starz to cancel the show either. I hope they can use Andy as a consultant and a coach for the new actor.

    Comment by Loretta — October 5, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  2. That really sucks Spartacus was by far the best show out I’ve watched it many times over and over …this will definitely bring the ratings down you can’t replace the main character i’n a series Andy is Spartacus…I figured they would have made a prequel so then they could keep him as Spartacus and get someone young to film the part of him i’n his youth.. Very disappointed to hear he won’t be doing season 2

    Comment by Marc — October 5, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  3. That sucks I feared that would happen.
    I sure Andy is at least happy for his cast mates the studio is recasting rather than canceling the show.

    I wish Andy well, and hope he slays his non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in the arena of life.

    Comment by EY — October 5, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

  4. It is absolutely heartbreaking that poor Andy has to step down from the show. Who else could fill his shoes, and play the part as well as Andy?

    I really adored seeing him play the role, I couldn’t imagine another in his place. I don’t think the show will be the same without him, although I do hope that the producers will choose the best option for the show. I watched Spartacus religously every week, because it was just so entertaining. I only hope that the “new” Spartacus will do as well as Andy, but I can’t help thinking that replacing him will only decrease the ratings.

    It will take some time for us to get used to the “new” Spartacus, but hopefully we’ll warm up to him. I’m really dissapointed but I wish Andy all the best, and hope he gets well soon.

    Comment by Kerrie — October 5, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

  5. I hate this show, but I think it’s terrible that he’s battling cancer. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

    Comment by Jodi — October 5, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

  6. Starz has a money maker -they were not gonna give that up regardless who is sick.Andy in their eyes is expendable and can be replaced by another muscle bound english accent actor.As Lucy said it is making us a boatload of cash we would never willingly cancel it–it about the money and having a hit show.

    Comment by tim — October 5, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

  7. Not the best news, but also not the worst. Thanks for the updates.

    Comment by Wes — October 5, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

  8. Glad that the show will continue, just not in the way I was hoping for. Andy embodies what I would think Spartacus to have been like. I’ll watch Season 2 in hopes I can get past the “new comer” and focus on the story being told n not trying to compare the new guy to Andy. Think it will be tough to do, but possible.
    Who should fill the almighty Andy Whitfields shoes…..The guy from Clash of the Titans. He should have alot of experience w/ a sword and the era of the show. Hope Andy will have a hand in who gets picked.

    Comment by Amanda — October 5, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

  9. Who ever steps in to Andy’s role has got bid shoes to fill but i hope if he gets better they’ll let him do the role agien

    Comment by Alex — October 6, 2010 @ 6:20 am

  10. I agree that to replace Andy is no easy task and maybe they shouldn’t even try, but since they are, does anyone have anyone at all in mind that could actually replace him? Because I got nothing

    Comment by Rock — October 6, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  11. I hate this as well…Andy rocks in role as Spartacus. I really haven’t thought this out…and I’m sure it’s impossible consider his schedule, but Gerard Butler would work nicely.

    Comment by ShermanRich — October 6, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  12. Sam Worthington would also be excellent in the role.

    Comment by ShermanRich — October 6, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

  13. Kevin Mckidd would be the only feasible Choice. or as the other guy mentiooned do a prequel casting a younger guy or maybe like a roman prison the forced him to fight with an iron mask deal idk?

    Comment by John — October 6, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

  14. cast me and let’s wait until andy is healthy, i’ve got the accent down, (due to living with the english for many years and watching the show ) i’m a huge fan and i’d love to see andy come back, let’s see if we can delay it until he’s ready to go, i’m 23 and could see someone young bring life to the character who I love

    Comment by kwalk 19 — October 7, 2010 @ 1:33 am

  15. I agree. Kevin McKidd looks totally different, and that’s whay it might work. The more the newcomer resembles Andy, the more he will be compared to him which is unfair. Kevin McKidd has the passion, the skill and the intensity. Seen “Dog soldiers”? He’s absolutely the man to ask.

    Comment by Ann — October 7, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  16. am sorry andy, know how hard it was, making a lot of decisions too. dad and my best friend my dog lola are battling dif cancers. keep heart and faith….all will be well, thx for a great season hope to see u soon….lol

    Comment by patricia — October 7, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

  17. sorry to hear about andy not returning… But if the show must go on then I would say Gerard Butler would be the perfect fill in…. Look at how he did in that movie “300”

    Comment by terrance — October 7, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  18. I cannot believe it!
    It’s difficult for me to imagine another one in Andy’s role…
    It just sucks…but I do love Spartacus, so I rather live without Andy in my tv for a while (hopefully!), than without the serie…
    I Love Andy, but I expect he can choose among his replacements,The other spartacus …
    Starz must go on with the show…

    Comment by Melisa — October 7, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

  19. This totally stinks! Andy makes that show special. They should wait for his return and do a “pre-Sparticus” story line. I would love to see that knowing that in another season we would get Andy back. What’s with the 3 year contract for the new Sparticus? Why can’t Andy come back once he is better? I’ll give the new Sparticus a shot but I don’t have high expectations. It will never be better than than the original show because it won’t have it’s soul (corny but true!). I wish Andy a speedy recovery. Looking forward to seeing him in his next role. Heart broken fan.

    Comment by Rosa — October 8, 2010 @ 2:18 am

  20. Bunch of selfish people… the man is sick and can’t do the job! Get over it.

    Comment by Athelia — October 8, 2010 @ 11:20 am

  21. Just like all of you, I can’t imagine someone else in the Spartacus role other than Andy but I am happy that the show will go on. The supporting cast was amazing and each character influenced each episode well.

    I did recently watch “Legend of the Seeker”. This show has some of the cast currently in Spartacus such as Varo’s wife, commander Glaber (Craig Parker), and Mira (Katrina Law). The main role in Legend of the Seeker is played by Craig Horner. He does a good job in this show and I think if he builds some muscle, he could do well as Spartacus but not as good as Andy of course.

    Only time will tell.

    Comment by Michael — October 8, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  22. Put sam worthington in the role. He looks a lot like andy and has some impressive movies under his belt. Clash of the titans is a similar role, and I think he did a pretty good job. He would be perfect, if he would even except it.

    Comment by enoughsaid — October 8, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  23. I love the show and will probably watch it in the future but there is no one who could ever play the role with the same intensity. Andy embodies everything that is Spartacus. My only hope is that he will regain his health & move on to a remarkably successful career in film. I’d pay to see anything he starred in.

    Comment by Nancy — October 11, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

  24. Gerard butler would suit that role “This Is Spartaaaa” lol

    Comment by Debua — October 14, 2010 @ 8:54 am

  25. Aden Young, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Michael Fassbender just a few! I hate it too about Andy but his priority should be to get will! This show was to good to be canceled!

    Comment by Glenda — October 15, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

  26. How about Josh Holloway from Lost fine looking buff man

    Comment by joyce — October 16, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

  27. My heart breaks at the thought that Andy might be sick again. I agree that Andy is irreplaceable. Andy, I send you my prayers for a quick recovery. Can’t wait to see you working again, whatever project it is.

    I’ve read that Wentworth Miller is the front runner being considered and I am a fan of his, but I can’t imagine him in this role. Sam Worthington would be a great choice. There is an actor named Michael Graziadei that could be Andy’s younger brother in terms of resemblance. I often wished, with the back story that was coming up, that he would be cast as a Spartacus family member. If he were a bit older, he might have been a good stand-in for Andy, until his return.

    I still look forward to seeing how the show develops, but this is sad news indeed.

    Comment by Angeldee — October 17, 2010 @ 6:38 am

  28. How about Ray Stevenson?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT6i69WeZMk

    Maybe a bit brutish (and I mean it in a good way) vs the more ‘balanced’ performance Andy gives but could work if the series is set to become a little darker as ‘Vengenance’ implies.

    Comment by TrustyBadger — October 30, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  29. I am so disappointed to think that Starz is thinking of recasting
    Andy. I would rather see the show canceled, than to think they can replace him. I really respect Andy for stepping aside for the show to go on,he is such a class act guy and a wonderful actor. With that said I think the only one actor to replace him would be Jason Statham he is about same built as Andy and has British accent, and he looks a little bit like Andy,and has experience with sword IN THE NAME OF THE KING. He is a big movie star now so maybe he would not be interested in doing the show and espically a 3 year contract. Whatever they decide to do the show will not be the same I know that GOD will cure this talented actor like he did Michael C. Hall, Gene Wilder and others so he can continue his career. Whatever Andy decides to do I will be watching for it. I can’t hardly wait until Feb.2011 to see THE CLINIC when it comes out on DVD. My prayers and love go out to Andy and his family.

    A VERY DEVOTED FAN

    Comment by Anita — November 3, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

  30. This news is gutting. Seeing him and the cast at Comic – Con this year was so exciting. I wish there were a way to continue with the prequel for this upcoming year in order to give him a chance to fight back. I think that he is worth the wait. There are so many amzing characters on the show that they could expand upon and explore until Andy can come back. If Starz came out and said that they were willing to do just that; fans would go crazy in anticipation and at least in my ideolistic mind, I would think it would not only solidify the fan base, but would also be so out of character for a network to do that the posative publicity it would generate would be good for Starz. God bless you and your family Andy, our thoughts are with you.

    Comment by Heather — November 13, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

  31. P.S. if a change must be made, I agree with what was stated above that Michael Graziadei would be a logical choice for the role. An actor that looks nothing like Andy would be so distracting and would be difficult to buy. At least Michael Graziadei would give some familiarity to the role as he makes it his own.

    Comment by Heather — November 13, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  32. Waiting until he is better is a gamble. 1. If you wait to long, the other actors may leave for other jobs, then you’d have to recast all of them. 2. It’s possible Andy might not get better.

    I really hope that 2nd scenerio doesn’t happen as I’d like to see Andy defeat his cancer and get involed with other acting roles in the future. He really is a great actor.

    Comment by Jake — December 19, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  33. I agree with the possible casting of Michael Graziadei from the young and the restless this guy is almost the spitting image of Andy its weird. But buff him up and you have spartacus reborn someone should really look into this. This is too good of a show to let implode. I think Sam Worthington would make it work but Graziadei is Spartacus. Seriously call him

    Comment by tomitom — December 29, 2010 @ 11:05 am

  34. Starz doing the SPARTACUS prequel was GENIUS. It would also be very smart to continue along those lines until Andy Whitfield recovers. yeah the show will go on; but like me, alot of us are waiting for Andy’s return. Michael Graziadie from Y&R could possible be a temporary double but, is tall or big enough? Certainly not as muscular but maybe the right fitness trainer can fix that. Expendable? Whifield? I disagree, He was Starz star . Replacing Andy Whitfield will inevitably end show. without good acting your only left with _orn.

    Comment by silowe — February 10, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  35. Michael Graziadei has my endorsement, especially since I thought he was Andy forever!

    Comment by Karla_fairway — March 15, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

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