In an effort of full disclosure, I am a fan of the Spartacus series. It’s not the blood and guts, though there’s plenty of both. It’s not the hyper sexuality/sensuality, though that’s also available in spades. It’s the character performances that make this series stand out for me. I couldn’t pass up the chance to get a glimpse at what’s to come in the the final season Spartacus: War of the Damned, airing on STARZ in January 2013. This panel really brought out the dead. Find out what I mean after the break.
The panel started with a teaser for the final season and, in one word, it was epic. The battle between the freed gladiators/slaves and Rome looks to reach new heights as it reaches its climax. Following that, Steven S. DeKnight (Executive Producer), Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Manu Bennett (Crixus) took to the stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
When asked why Spartacus was ending after its fourth season, DeKnight said that they wanted to go out on top and make “the biggest, most insanely epic final season we could.” He knows the pressure to, as he puts it, “stick the landing” is on and he wants to live up to the impact of season one’s finale. McIntyre added his excitement because they are packing a lot of storytelling in.
When the attention shifted to questions from the fans, and the first fan asked McIntyre about filling in the Andy Whitfield, all three men on stage lead the crowd in a standing ovation to honor that fallen warrior. They also want interested fans to check out the Kickstarter for Be Here Now, a documentary about the life of Whitfield named after the tattoo he got on his forearm when he started cancer treatment.
DeKnight spoke briefly about his next TV endeavor, Incursion, and described it as Band of Brothers meets Halo — hard R-rated military science fiction show with both men and women fighting.
DeKnight teased that while we won’t see a direct riff on the famous “I am Spartacus” scene from the Kirk Douglas movie, the show may tip its hat to it.
When asked how they send off the cast members whose characters meet their end on the show, Bennett performed the beginning of the Maori war dance he leads in tribute. A fan couldn’t ask for a fitting segue as first Lucy Lawless came to the stage, but then she was also joined by other cast members who met their demise in Spartacus: Vengeance: Peter Mensah, Katrina Law, Nick Tarabay, Viva Bianca and Craig Parker. This once again brought the crowd to their feet. Some even rushed the stage.
McIntyre referred to Bennett as “man mountain” in describing the boot camp. Bennett likes boot camp because by the end, the cast has become a team.
“I was told we were rationing out blood at the end of last season.” McIntyre on the gratuitous use of that particular red bodily fluid.
“I always like to say we’re ‘historically adjacent’.” DeKnight on the use of factual events in the storytelling.
“It’s The Princess Bride, if it were R-rated.” DeKnight on describing the series.
“…Unlike The Princess Bride, our midget has a dildo on his head” Bennett’s follow up.
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