Sometimes the winners of the People’s Choice Awards are programs that don’t exactly appeal to people with – what’s the word I’m looking for – “taste.” But sometimes taste makers and the omnivores of the TV universe agree on something, and this year, that something is the awesomeness of the CW series The Flash. At last night’s ceremony for the People’s Choice Awards (you may have already seen the clip of Captain America Chris Evans helping Betty White to the stage, re-certifying his volunteer merit badge in the process), The Flash beat out some strong competition to win the Favorite New TV Drama award. So the Fastest Man Alive is starting off the year right! Good thing, because as revealed by a new trailer, it’s a villain-palooza for 2015 in Central City. (more…)
Another Casting Call Confirms ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Roles; Plus Rumors Point to Two Actors as Potential Stars
We’re in the early stages of production on Star Wars Episode VII and that means the internet is literally lousy with rumors. Some credible, most bogus, but what Jedi News has been scrounging up is sure interesting. According to their source, the mysterious Jedi Master SQL, Ksenia Solo and Liam McIntyre (both pictured above) have read for roles in Episode VII. What roles exactly isn’t clear but it’s been noted Ksenia Solo would fit the part of Leia and Han’s daughter perfectly. Not to mention already having the perfect surname. McIntyre has supposedly read for the role of a Jedi, something I could easily see the Spartacus actor handling quite well.
In addition to the rumor these two actors have read and are being considered for roles, there’s a casting call currently going on in New York for a Disney movie directed by J.J. Abrams. Huh? Wonder what that could be? Here’s a description of what’s being sought from Showbiz 411,
[YOUNG MAN] Early 20s. Handsome, but not necessarily heroic. He is witty and smart. Physically fit.
[MAN] Late 20s. Physically fit, handsome and confident.
[YOUNG WOMAN] Late teens. Physically fit, raw energy, independent and with a great sense of humor.
I could easily see Solo and McIntyre fitting those two bottom roles, couldn’t you? It’s also interesting to note the first casting call rumors we saw mentioned seven roles, soo… have those four other roles already been cast? Possibly. But we won’t know anything for sure until the House of Mouse deigns to tell us.
Source: Jedi News, Showbiz 411 via /Film
It seems that the epic of Spartacus is coming to an end after the forthcoming third season according to none other than series’ creator Steven S. DeKnight. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, DeKnight explained that it wasn’t costs, ratings, or even the untimely death of the series’ leading man that’s bringing the show to a close, it’s just simply time to wrap the story up:
“It’s a bit unheard of to end a show when it’s doing better than ever. It’s a bold move and we talked about it with Starz. How long do you run a show? Do you run it until you can squeeze every last bit of revenue out of it or do you end it on a high note? That was part of the decision to wrap up the show. The idea of ending the show when you’re on top and the audience still wants more instead of dragging it out until it starts to wane and you kind of limp to the finish line. I’ve always thought that five seasons was the perfect number; you’ve got enough time to tell a great story but there’s not so much real estate that you start to get a little flabby in the middle. This is ending a season early. Spartacus is a bit of an unusual duck. We’ve always had an ending—it’s written in history—so we knew where we were shooting for.
“My original thought was that this show could go five to seven seasons but we realized the actual history is very scattershot: the rebels went north, south, east, west, then back north, then broke apart, came back together. We thought, instead of repeating ourselves with one wave of Roman senators after another going after Spartacus, getting defeated, going after Spartacus, getting defeated, why not really condense the story. … It’s like The Princess Bride: cut out all the boring bits and just make the best, most rip-roaring-est tale we can to wrap up the series.”
The next season of Spartacus, “War of the Damned,” will premiere in January on Starz.
Starz returns us to the ancient world of gladiators and Roman decadence with their third season of the sensational swords-and-sandals series, Spartacus: Vengeance. Picking up only a few weeks after season one, the freed gladiators who rebelled against their lanista and master, Batiatus, are now fugitives hiding in the sewers of Capua. Or, fugitivus, as the episode is titled.
For weeks they’ve been terrorizing the city, killing Romans and stealing food and supplies. But their rebellion is becoming weak, splintered, as the freed slaves are beginning to grow hungry and restless. The gladiators are split between two leaders with different goals; Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) seeks revenge for the death of wife while Crixus (Manu Bennett) is determined to be reunited with his love, Naevia, a former slave of the house Batiatus.
The episode opens with Spartacus leading an attack on mercenaries sent to hunt them down. They’re dealt with swiftly and gruesomely. On one of the dead soldier’s chests Spartacus carves a name. Whose name? Why, old friend Gaius Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker) the Roman army legatus now praetor responsible for selling his wife into slavery and eventual death.
Once word of Spartacus’ message reaches Rome, Glaber is sent back to Capua to deal with the mess he’s made. You see, Glaber was responsible for bringing Spartacus to Capua in the first place, where he showed promise in the arena and was bought by Batiatus, a power-hungry and presumptive lanista who sought to rise high in Roman society. Batiatus then blackmailed Glaber into giving his ludus patronage after his batshit crazy wife, Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) kind of-sort of murdered someone and Batiatus covered it up. For Glaber, being linked to Spartacus and his rebellion is putting a nasty stain on his fancy new praetor robes.
For Ilithyia, returning to Capua is like reliving a nightmare. The friendship she began with Batiatus’ wife, Lucretia (Lucy Lawless), almost destroyed her, literally. She was at the ludus, as were many of Capua’s nobles, when Spartacus’ rebellion began. She barely escaped and ordered her guards to lock the doors, condemning everyone still within to a bloody, bloody death. And guess what!? Upon their return to Capua there’s only one residence suited to Glaber’s needs of hunting down Spartacus, it’s the lovely house and ludus of Batiatus! Still with that fresh, recently massacred Roman smell. And it seems the residence is not completely unoccupied.
But what of the arena? Who will fight and die spectacularly in order to please the mob? Since Spartacus’ rebellion it’s clear the quality of gladiators has suffered, and the crowds as well as Capua’s elite are tiring of the boring matches. In attendance is Seppius, a young man of noble birth seeking to capture Spartacus and be honoured for it. He’s joined by his sister, Seppia and their relationship reeks of more than sibling affection. (Note: Their relationship was initially intended to be incestuous but the show’s creators didn’t want to appear to be stealing the idea from HBO’s Game of Thrones and their incestual power couple, the Lannisters.)
Back with the fugitive gladiators, Spartacus and Aurelia (wife of Varro, Spartacus’ only true friend at the ludus who Spartacus was ordered to kill) share a quiet moment. Spartacus gives Aurelia the coin he’s managed to save off dead Romans in the hopes she can find her son, leave the borders of Rome’s empire, and be free. It’s a nice sentiment, but if you learn anything from watching Spartacus, there are no happy endings.
Finally we get to what’s made this series such a hit, sex and slaughter. Crixus and Spartacus seek out a slaver to find some answers about where Naevia was sold. They enter a whorehouse and proceed to kill a bunch of naked people. Nothing’s quite a brothel buzzkill like having your dick severed by a pissed-off Gaul. In the end all they learn of Naevia is she was sold off to a villa in the south, but more importantly they learn Rome is sending an army to end their rebellion. A real Roman army led by Glaber.
Spartacus’ lust for vengeance takes over and instead of heeding caution and joining Crixus in his search for Naevia, he plans to confront Glaber while he makes a speech in the town square. Glaber has come to appease the worried crowds of Capua’s citizens, promising to end Spartacus’ rebellion swiftly. He brings forth a former Batiatus slave captured while trying to flee. It’s Aurelia, bloodied and beaten almost beyond recognition. In his fury, Spartacus’ attacks from where he was concealed in the crowd, seeking out Glaber. The two fight and before Spartacus is overtaken by guards backup arrives in the form of Crixus and the other gladiators. The reclaim Aurelia and escape.
As Aurelia lays dying from her wounds she makes Spartacus promise to stay away from her son for she, “would not have him die in your wake as his father and mother.” Oooh. Burn. After this Spartacus agrees to join Crixus in his search for Naevia, but as they travel south they will free every slave they come upon until they have raised an army. Then they will return and kill Glaber and every Roman standing in their way.
Spartacus truly is back with a vengeance and this season promises to shock us with even more insane, over-the-top violence, debauchery and sex than ever before. I absolutely love the tenuous alliance between Spartacus and Crixus and I’m sure as the season continues we’ll see them clash again and again. Liam McIntyre steps into the role of Spartacus as if he had been playing him all along. In no way do you feel he’s trying to impersonate Andy Whitfield’s performance, but come the end of the episode he is Spartacus, no questions asked. In our interview with some of the show’s stars, Craig Parker (Glaber), mentioned how the actors felt they were working in very different camps. There’s the slaves and the Romans, and I’m interested to see what different challenges the characters face in their respective “arenas.” Particularly Ilithyia having to deal with a deranged, but totally not dead, Lucretia. Viva Bianca and Lucy Lawless’ scenes together were definite highlights of season one and I’m only looking forward to more. Of the new characters introduced, I think the siblings Seppius and Seppia will be fantastic to watch. Incest or not. Who knows what kind of trouble they’ll be stirring up this season.
Make sure you tune in Fridays at 10pm on Starz. Below, watch the trailer for this season of Spartacus: Vengeance.
Starz is showed it’s happiness with the success of the Spartacus franchise and ordered a third season before the second season of the series had even premiered. Spartacus: Vengeance premieres on January 27 and production on the yet to be named third season is set to begin in New Zealand in early 2012.
“Many surprises are in store for Vengeance viewers this year, but rest assured the multi-layered plot and richly developed characters will continue to be a trademark of this series,” said exec producer Rob Tapert.
Vengeance marks the debut of Liam McIntyre in the title role of Spartacus, in which he succeeded the late Andy Whitfield. McIntyre is joined by returning cast members Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett, as Crixus, Dustin Clare, Nick E. Tarabay, and Katrina Law. The most recent chapter of Spartacus was the prequel, Gods Of The Arena which aired in January 2011 and averaged an estimated 6.2 million total viewers per episode across all linear channels and on-demand viewing. Those kind of numbers have made the series a Starz favorite.
Last week Nerdbastards posted that Austrailian Liam Mcintyre was a front runner for the role of Spartacus. Andy Whitfield had to step away from the lead role in Spartacus: Blood and Sand last September when his cancer returned. Starz was left with two options: recast the role of Spartacus or cancel the series.. Starz confirmed their choice today.
When Spartacus Season 2 returns we can expect lots of sweat, skin, and tight abs. I’m really excited about the news that Lucretia played by Lucy Lawless, will be returning to the second season! We all know that Lucretia can be a cold hearted bitch when she feels slighted in the smallest way. Wonder what kind of floodgate will be opened after taking a sword to the gut from the gladiator she loved. Whole lot of Roman-spurned-woman-venom coming Criux’s way.
Wait, I just realized that I have written this whole post about Spartacus without using the word Merkin. There, I thought I was leaving something out, I feel better now.
Don’t forget this Nerdbastards reminder:
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena starts this FRIDAY! Set your DVR!