A six-part mini-series prequel to Starz' original series SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND is in the works with production beginning this summer in New Zealand.
Andy Whitfield, who played the title character in the series, will appear in the prequel briefly, but Lucy Lawless and John Hannah take center stage in this story of the rise of the House of Batiatus and its champions before Spartacus arrives as a captured Thracian slave.
Other returning actors include Peter Mensah (Doctore), Manu Bennett (Crixus), Antonio Te Maioha (Barca), Nick E. Tarabay (Ashur), Lesley-Ann Brandt (Naevia) - and others. New characters will also be added - most notably the gladiator who was champion of the House of Batiatus before Spartacus or even Crixus - who will help fill in the story about the people and politics in the House of Batiatus and ancient Capua as a whole.
The Spartacus prequel is slated to air on Starz in January 2011.