Screenrush UK interviewed John about the premiere of Spartacus Blood and Sand on UK Cable Bravo. In addition to talking about Batiatus and what's going to happen in Season 1, John is asked about Andy and how his health.
John says that Andy is in remission and cancer free, he is back in training. He has come through this and this will make him stronger. John and Andy have kept in touch throughout Andy's treatment.
This is different and seriously cool. A very different way to promo
Spartacus Blood and Sand and extremely clever. The video was created by a
fan Danza MeChell from a pre-made video and the Sparty image was
inserted. Very clever indeed.
Many thanks to Erin Cummings for the alert and to Luna for the update.
Spartacus 'fresco' features Simon Cowell and Gordon Brown
A celebrity artist has created a modern-day version of a traditional Roman fresco, casting Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and the warring Gallagher brothers as gladiators.
At its centre is star of the show Andy Whitfield, who stands over two of his victims, one of them former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Welsh-born Whitfield is a man who epitomises courage both on and off-screen as he portrays the rebellious warrior slave Spartacus and in real life battles non-hodgkins lymphoma.
Describing his inspiration for the painting, Karslake said: "After watching several episodes of Spartacus, I was struck by how contemporary society holds just as much sex, violence and deception as it did in Roman times.
"Every day, modern day gladiators vie for our attention and are held up for our entertainment in a bid to win our affection, ratings or votes.
"If Simon Cowell had been around in Ancient Rome, would he be running Gladiatorial schools or does Gordon Brown's demise bear any resemblance to emperors of the past?"
Spartacus: Blood and Sand airs exclusively on Tuesdays at 10pm from Tuesday May 25 and stars Scottish actor John Hannah and Lucy Lawless.
Hannah, who plays Batiatus, owner of the Gladiator arena said: "I think we all like that historical world.
"We want to know where our society has come from and who we are, and what we were without the constraints of civilization.
"I think those kind of people still exist - they're just dressed in suits and pinstripe shirts now. I can see the modern parallels."
Historian and writer Natalie Hayes said: "Ancient Rome is no different from the modern world.
"We no longer watch chariot races or gladiatorial fights but we watch races just like Romans did - for us the chariots have become Formula 1 cars.
Anchor Bay Entertainment is set to unleash Spartacus: Blood and Sand – The Complete First Season on DVD and Blu-ray on September 21st.
The four-disc set will contain all 13 episodes, come armored in a high-end collectible packaging, and the Blu-ray edition will include four Director’s Cut Extended episodes.
The DVD will have a suggested retail price of $59.97 with the Blu-ray edition having a suggested retail of $79.97.
Executive produced by Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Joshua Donen and Steven S. DeKnight, Spartacus: Blood and Sand on DVD and Blu-ray promises to take fans even deeper into the deadly brutality of gladiator games and the decadent machinations of Roman society with hours of bonus features delving behind the scenes into the making of a modern epic, including interviews and commentaries from the actors and filmmakers, augmented with rare production footage exploring the series’ ground-breaking visual effects, production and costume design.
The set features enhanced digital effects added to several of the episodes, and the Blu-ray exclusive “Directors’ Cut Extended Episodes” will feature content too risqué for television.
The new series was the most highly anticipated original series in the history of Starz Entertainment, and premiered on January 22, 2010, and was hit with viewers and critics. The show featured a renowned international cast including John Hannah (the Mummy films), Peter Mensah (300), Manu Bennett (30 Days of Night), Nick E. Tarabay (“Crash”) and Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”), and a star-making turn by UK-born and Australia-based Andy Whitfield in the title role.
DVD and Blu-ray bonus features:
Episodes with Enhanced Digital Effects
Exclusive Blu-ray bonus feature:
Four “Directors’ Cut Extended Episodes” personally selected by Executive Producer Rob Tapert
This is excellent news for Andy that his Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is in remission. John Hannah was interviewed on the BBC show "The One Show" and revealed that Andy is in remission. UK residents can watch/listen to these on the BBC iPlayer. John mentions that Andy is 'in remission'. Unfortunately for the rest of us not in the UK you can't view the interview.
I ask what's next, and he says he's preparing for the second series of Spartacus in New Zealand. This had to be put on hold when the lead actor, Andy Whitfield, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hannah says he is now in remission.
MERCK lists the following about remission for those with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
It is somewhat of a paradox that indolent lymphomas usually respond readily to treatment by going into remission (in which the disease is under control), often followed by long-term survival, but the disease usually is not cured. In contrast, aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which usually require very intensive treatment to achieve remission, have a good chance of being cured.
There hasn't been any official word from Starz updating on their press release about Andy's illness. Hopefully that will come soon.
For UK Fans here is some news about watching the show a week before it goes to air on Bravo from Sky.com
The controversial Spartacus: Blood and Sand is available on Sky Player tonight, a whole week before it airs on TV. Be among the first to see Bravo's new drama, but be warned, it's not for the faint-hearted.
Spartacus: Blood And Sand brings to life the brutal world of the gladiators as the Roman Republic’s toughest fighters clash in the ultimate arena.
Andy Whitfield plays Spartacus, a rebellious soldier in the Roman Auxiliary. Betrayed by the Romans, Spartacus is taken prisoner and torn away from the woman he loves.
Watch Spartacus: Blood and Sand from 9pm tonight on Sky Player.
Louise sent me a note to alert me to the Andy Whitfield Facebook Page. It's a page to show support to Andy while is battling Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Please join and invite your friends to show our support for him in his battle with NHL(non hodgkin's lymphoma) This group celebrates this great actor, he is currently appearing as Spartacus in the new series Spartacus - Blood & Sand!
The Hollywood Reporter has the news about the Spartacus prequel but that's not what had me a little excited. It's the front cover of the print The Hollywood Reporter that made smile. Lucy and John are featured on the front; top left hand corner.
Starz has released a press released announcing the six part mini-series / prequel to Spartacus Season 1.
Andy Whitfield to Appear In Two Episodes Along With Lucy Lawless, John Hannah, Peter Mensah Plus Other Returning and New Characters
LOS ANGELES, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- NCTA Cable Show 2010 -- Pre-production is underway on a six-part prequel to Starz' hit original series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand."
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. With the title still to be determined, the prequel will begin production this summer in New Zealand, and is slated to air on Starz in January 2011.
Page 28 has the following Spartacus / Lucy mention
BECAUSE WE LIKE MOVIES ABOUT GLADIATORS, JOEY: If you’re complaining about the historical accuracy of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, you’re completely missing the point. The sweaty, sex-obsessed sword-and-sandals series on cable network Starz features enough glistening, chiseled, and usually nude bodies to make the cast of 300 turn green with envy. Star (and lesbian icon) Lucy Lawless’s return to scanty period garb is just icing.
Spartacus Blood and Sand Season 1 DVD is currently on pre-order via Amazon.com and other places. The date for the release has been speculated to be around July or August. Starz on Twitter tweeted the following news about the release date
# RT @Roccovega: hey! Do you know when is the Bluray and dvd release date of season 1? (We don't have the date confirmed yet) about 4 hours ago
so basically we go back to waiting.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand DVD - Season 1 Pre-Order
Betrayed by the Romans. Forced into slavery. Reborn as a Gladiator. The classic tale of the Republicâ€™s most infamous rebel comes alive in the graphic and visceral new series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Torn from his homeland and the woman he loves, Spartacus is condemned to the brutal world of the arena where blood and death are primetime entertainment. But not all battles are fought upon the sands. Treachery, corruption, and the allure of sensual pleasures will constantly test Spartacus. To survive, he must become more than a man. More than a gladiator. He must become a legend.
The following is a very lengthy article about Spartacus Blood and Sand from The Times Online
in preparation for the show's premiere on UK Bravo on 25 May at 10 pm
The historical mini-series just got sexier
Times Online 9 May 2010
Here’s what we know about Spartacus. He was an escaped Thracian gladiator. He recruited an army of slaves. He defeated the Romans several times in a two-year campaign. Eventually, he was killed on the battlefield as Marcus Licinius Crassus routed his army. And little of that is absolutely certain. Our two main sources — the historians Plutarch and Appian — wrote at least 100 years after his death, and their accounts differ. Yet that hasn’t stopped Spartacus entering the cultural canon as a timeless symbol of rebellion, appearing everywhere from The Goon Show to punk songs, at least 10 novels, the classic Kubrick film, a cartoon series, the movie Clueless, a ballet and — almost inevitably — a concept album by Jeff Wayne.
Spartacus star Andy Whitfield ready to do battle
In true gladiator style, Whitefield fights illness before second season of Spartacus
Entertainment Today - 7 May 2010
Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the classic tale of the legendary gladiator, has become a breakout success story for cable’s premium Starz Network. The first season finale airs April 16, but the filming of the second season was recently delayed while its titled star, Andy Whitfield does battle with a medical condition.
The muscular Spartacus star, Whitfield has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and he is receiving treatment. The Starz Network released a statement reporting the cancer was discovered during a routine checkup as Whitfield prepared to go into production for the sophomore season in New Zealand.
The Whitfield expects to come back in true gladiator style, and the athletic actor reports, “I’m receiving excellent care, and am feeling strong, positive and determined with an army of support behind me.”
Even before the show premiered, word of mouth had spread about Spartacus being akin to the film 300 with its graphic novel look. It is filled with splattering violence, as well as sex as explicit as Starz would allow, and still be considered artistic in the visceral storytelling.
The following is from The Hollywood Reporter about Season 2.
The Hollywood Reporter
Starz eyes up to 4 series, 4 minis a year
Starz and Encore subs rise in Q1 over Q4
By Georg Szalai
May 7, 2010, 09:58 AM ET
At Starz Entertainment, the second season of "Spartacus" is still delayed without a production start date due to the recent cancer diagnosis of star Andy Whitfield. Without sharing specifics, management Friday said there have been encouraging developments recently on his health status though. Until he is ready for a full second season, executives said they want to keep the series and fan interest alive in creative ways.
WITH everything I’ve been hearing about the new television mini-series Spartacus, I had my expectations set on a slice of television that would satisfy my predilections toward more primal persuasions.
Spartacus happily and shamelessly borrows much from the Zach Snyder film 300. The dirty, sweaty, beautiful, muscular men, the slow motion flight of the spear, shield, dagger or sword before it hits flesh, the spewing of fireengine-red blood across monotones. The various stages of dishabille, the casual manner clothes are tossed off. All here, lovingly art directed for your viewing pleasure.
But it will certainly take more than that to capture the interest of viewers— and I was wonderfully surprised to find out it does.
Spartacus is the story of a brave, honorable, passionate warrior from Thrace who was arrested by the Roman army for insubordination. Instead of dying in the arena for his crime, he rocks the decadent Roman audience and has them raising their fists and calling his “name.” His life is spared and a man known as Batiatus purchases him.
This is where the fun begins. Batiatus is played wonderfully by John Hannah Matthew from Four Weddings and a Funeral and Rachel Weisz’s scheming brother in the Mummy movies. And, surprise, Lucy Lawless a.k.a. Xena the Warrior Princess plays his cunning, complex and loving wife and partner, Lucretia.
In only his second feature film, Whitfield was cast as Cameron in The Clinic, a feisty young man who is desperately trying to find his fiancé Beth. The role continues on from his debut as the lead in the successful
Australian film Gabriel.
On the small screen Whitfield has performed in numerous Australian television dramas including the highly successful series Packed To The Rafters, McLeod’s Daughters, The Strip and All Saints.
He is currently playing the title role in Sam Raimi’s Spartacus, Blood and Sand.
Young mother-to-be Beth is traveling across country with her fiancé, Cameron, when one night she wakes alone to a nightmare situation, faced with an unknown enemy and a deadline for survival. Her child has been abducted and she is trapped in an isolated clinic together with a group of other mothers.
The Clinic follows the journey of six women who find themselves trapped and isolated with only each other to turn to (and against). Something has drawn these women together and will ultimately tear them apart.
An intriguing thriller from first-time writer/director James Rabbitts, The Clinic explores women’s primal instincts and how far they will go to protect life. Inspired by true events.