Starz Goes to Facebook First for ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’20 Jan, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey
Actor Liam McIntyre, who took over the role of Spartacus for the late Andy Whitfield in Starz Entertainment’s Spartacus: Vengeance, admitted he’ll probably be sensitive to how fans react to his performance, especially on the show’s Facebook page.
“I'm a bit of a dork, so I know how I can be with things I’m passionate about,” he said. “So having that in mind, I’ll probably insulate myself from that a little bit and just let the fans judge as they will and make their own decisions. And I'll curl into a bed and hope for the best.”
The fans didn’t have to wait for the broadcast premiere of the show on Starz Jan. 27 to judge McIntyre, Lucy Lawless and the rest: Starz headed to Facebook and online outlets a week earlier to debut the show.
On Jan. 20 the first episode of the season was made available online to 61.1 million U.S. homes with Starz via starz.com/spartacus, xfinitytv.com, directv.com, DISHOnline.com and charter.net, as well as to everyone else, at facebook.com/spartacus.starz.
Steven S. DeKnight, creator, writer, and executive producer of the “Spartacus” franchise, doesn’t need to wait for the premiere to predict the fans’ reactions: They’ll love him.
“That’s really what drew us to Liam is that we didn’t want to try to duplicate (Whitfield),” he said. “That will never happen. He was such a singular, amazing talent. But we wanted to find somebody that had the same base qualities of compassion. I told all the actors when they auditioned that even though Spartacus may fly into a rage now and then, he never comes from a place of anger, it's always from a place of a wounded heart. And we really felt like Liam captured that essence.”
“Spartacus: Vengeance” brings back Lawless and Viva Bianca, with both saying fans will find the usual sex and violence, and just as great a story as when they left the first season in 2010.
“I’ve done things again this season that I've never, ever done before and never seen on television before. And it was very heavy duty,” Lawless said. “Let me tell you, this does great things for the viewer’s sex life. Not so much for the participants. It’s like aversion therapy.”
Added Bianca: “Some of the sex scenes or storylines in ‘Spartacus’ that involve sex are actually not in any way of a turn-on. They can be quite brutal. I mean the show is talking about exploitation of slaves and of women and a lot of the violence is actually talking about some very serious stuff. So it's kind of far from a turn-on.”
The first two volumes of the “Spartacus” franchise, Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, are currently on DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Starz and Anchor Bay Entertainment.