With Netflix/Marvel Studios’ Daredevil now having an actual factual release date, excitement for the series is hitting a fever pitch. With just about three months until fans and the curious will be able to see all 13 episodes of the first season, the truly anxious are eager to get answers to a whole whack of questions concerning what the show will look like, what all we might expect, and what role the Man Without Fear might play in the broader context of Marvel’s series and films. Thank God for Twitter then. Recently, Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus) responded to fan questions on the social media site, addressing all manner of queries about his show, and his thoughts on the last attempt to make project based on Hell Kitchen’s antihero of choice: 2003’s Daredevil released by 20th Century Fox. (more…)
For those fans of Starz’s Spartacus, who are dreading the end of the series and looking for something to replace it, might want to tune into the 10PM, March 3rd premiere of the History Channel‘s new series Vikings. It’s the History Channel’s first foray into the world of original scripted series.
The show’s first season is set for nine, hour long episodes and is described by the History Channel as:
Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok the greatest hero of his age. The series tells the sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family, as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods, legend has it that he was a direct descendant of Odin, the god of war and warriors.
Micheal Hirst is the creative force behind Vikings, you might have seen his work on The Tudors, Camelot, and he wrote the Oscar winning Elizabeth. The show opening sequence has a stylized, Mad Men feel to it and the music of Fever Ray: If I had a Heart is a great addition to the overall style.
The cast includes Travis Fimmel (The Beast, Baytown Outlaws), Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee, Heroes, CSI: NY), Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing), George Blagden (Wrath of the Titans, Les’ Miserables), Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back), Clive Standen (Camelot, Robin Hood), and Katheryn Winnick (Stand Up Guys).
Check out the videos below and let us know if you’ll be tuning in March 3rd. I’ll be taking a look at the series. I need something to fill the void while I wait on Sons of Anarchy to return.
We all feel like certain things are promised to us — happiness, love, longevity. These things are the pillars of a full life, and yet sometimes they allude us. Andy Whitfield had career fulfillment as the star of Spartacus and he had love and happiness with his wife, Vashti, and his two children, but Whitfield was cheated out of longevity, passing away at the age of 39 after an 18 month battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
It has been nine months since Whitfield’s tragic death, but his voice can still be heard in Be Here Now, a documentary that was filmed during his illness in an effort to, according to director Lilibet Foster, “be helpful and inspire other people facing similar challenges in their lives.
It was Foster that Whitfield, his wife, and his manager Sam Maydew, entrusted with this delicate and hard project, a project whose subject matter she was familiar with thanks to her work with Stand Up to Cancer. Still, the Academy Award nominated documentary director clearly took a shine to Whitfield, and was hit hard by his death:
“The hardest emotional part of the filming process was when Andy took a turn for the worse. It is no exaggeration when you hear or read that Andy was a wonderful and beautiful person both inside and out, who I feel honored to have gotten to know.”
The goal of Be Here Now, is to remind the world of that Andy Whitfield, but also to show the “love story” between Andy and Vashti, and according to Foster, to show “a beautiful, poetic and inspirational film that takes you into and beyond the subject of cancer, becoming a life-lesson for anyone about living fearlessly, going for your dreams and living in the here and now, despite the potential outcome.”
There isn’t likely a person reading this that hasn’t been personally touched by cancer, and there isn’t likely a person reading this who won’t be inspired by the grace and resiliency that Whitfield and his family show in the trailer (below) for Be Here Now. So many of us know the toughness required, the value of joy and laughter in beating back this disease, and so many would likely benefit from hearing a story that displays those things — something that Lilibet Foster’s documentary seems to promise. Right now though, the film is stuck, and that’s why a Kickstarter campaign has been started to help fund the filming of the documentary’s conclusion and to edit the project for release.
Presently, the Be Here Now Kickstarter page has more than $35,000 pledged by more than 650 people, but with 43 days to go, the project still needs another $170,000. To view and contribute to the Be Here Now project, and help Lilibet Foster tell Andy Whitfield’s story in full, go here.
Source: Lilibet Foster, Deadline
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.
Fans of brutal and bloody shows like Game of Thrones and Spartacus are going to be getting their fill of historically fictional television this year, and it’s all thanks to Mel Gibson and 1995.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a new late night cable series is in the works based on the 1995 film Braveheart. The series will follow the legendary Scotsman William Wallace prior to the events of the original blockbuster hit.
Given that the film itself is over seventeen years old, it’s surprising to hear it’s being opted for television development. Well, not really. It should fit in just fine with the rest of the sword and sandal shows out there.
Writer Mick Davis believes it’ll be a fan favorite. He said the following:
“This was a turbulent time in Scotland’s history, in which William Wallace had a starring and pivotal role,” producer Alan Clements said. “We plan to delve deep into his character and explore his passions, bringing parts of history to life in a spectacular and raw depiction. With all eyes on Scotland in the current political climate, this also seems to be a very appropriate time to tell this story in more depth.”
So, are you ready to see some young buck put on the half-blue face paint and ride into battle?
Spartacus Returns With a Vengeance This Friday! Stars Manu Bennett, Nick Tarabay, Craig Parker & Dan Feuerriegel Talk New Season
Starz hasn’t had the same kind of success with their original series as say, HBO or Showtime. Camelot was canceled before its first season ended and even popular properties like Torchwood haven’t fared too well on the premium channel. But don’t count them out of the original programming market yet, their biggest hit is one hell of a contender. Returning for its third season, a first for a Starz show, is Spartacus: Vengeance. Vengeance is the sequel to Spartacus‘ first season, Blood and Sand, which aired in 2010. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, which aired in between Blood and Sand and Vengeance, was a prequel season.
If you’re unfamiliar with the extremely graphic, sword-and-sandal drama I’ll summarize: Spartacus follows an enslaved Thracian turned gladiator who leads an uprising against the Roman ruling class. The first season dealt primarily with Spartacus’ rise as a gladiator and his revolt against his master. Vengeance will see us following the escaped gladiators and slaves as they begin their rebellion.
Did I mention this show is graphic? Good, because it is excessively so, but that’s part of the fun. The show’s creators wanted a truthful interpretation of Ancient Roman society, and they nailed it. Spartacus is gory, like, really gory. But it’s also gory in a fun, comic book way with blood spraying across the screen. It’s also very graphic in its sexual content, another accuracy from Roman culture. For realz, sometimes this show could be considered soft-core porn. It’s dirty, it’s gritty, and it’s an all around fantastic show because for all its sex and violence, they’re telling a great story, too.
The first episode of Vengeance airs this Friday at 10pm on Starz (the first season is available on Netflix Instant) and in a promotional build up Nerd Bastards was invited to sit in on a press conference call with some of the show’s stars. On the call were Manu Bennett (Crixus), Craig Parker (Gaius Claudius Glaber), Nick Tarabay (Ashur) and Dan Feuerriegel (Agron). They answered a multitude of questions about filming, what we can expect from their characters this season, as well what the transition has been like with Liam McIntyre taking over the role of Spartacus. (Andy Whitfield who played the role in Blood and Sand sadly passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma in September of last year.)
The guys gave some really thoughtful and thorough responses. Check ’em out below the cut.
Spartacus is back with a vengence . . . yeah, it is a little too early in the week for puns, but this extended teaser trailer for the January premiere on Starz looks terrific. Forgetting all the tragedy that this show has endured with the death of Andy Whitfield, there are still some amazing stories to be told.
Lucretia – the baby, her revenge.
The Slave uprising and battles.
Ilithyia – she has some payback coming.
Those are the top concerns for this NerdBastard. The show has been a great ride, the bloody fights, the sex, the merkins. Everything is set at eleven. Below is the series synopsis and the teaser trailer.
Here’s the synopsis:
On the heels of the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the gladiator rebellion continues and begins to strike fear into the heart of the Roman Republic in Spartacus: Vengeance. Gaius Claudius Glaber and his Roman troops are sent to Capua to crush the growing band of freed slaves that Spartacus leads before it can inflict further damage. Spartacus is presented the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man that condemned his wife to slavery and eventual death or making the larger sacrifices necessary to keep his budding army from breaking apart. Containing all of the blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, and villainy and heroism that has come to distinguish the series, the tale of Spartacus resumes in epic fashion.
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.
Showtime’s Spartacus series is out with the new trailer for Spartacus – Vengeance. It’s all there, blood, erect nipples (Oh Lucy, you still have it!), slow-mo fight scenes. If you haven’t made Spartacus your favorite dirty little secret then what the hell are you waiting for? Check out the series and get on board the gloriously bloody, erotically teasing, and villainous backstabbing that makes Spartacus such a great ride.
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena premiered last Friday with all the blood, gore, and gloriously sweaty full frontal nudity that any geeky fan boy or girl could want. The opening retells the all too deserved death of Batiatus at the hands of Spartacus, thus ending the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. As Batiatus lays next to his wife dieing, his minds eye flashes back to the days before Spartacus, the days where the Gods of the Arena ruled his world.
While Batiatus at the edge of death dreams of days long gone we the viewer are treated to the opportunity to see many of the cast before we knew them, the chance to see that tipping point that drove the characters into those we loved to love, or hate in Blood and Sands.
If you are in need of a new drinking game for your party friends just play Spartacus: Cock and Drink. Every time a character says the word “cock” everyone drinks. Last one standing after the episode wins. First one that falls gets the magic marker treatment.
Overall this opening episode for Gods of the Arena was a great starting point. Bring on the blood, the sweat, and the Merkins!
Couple of interesting things I noticed: