Two years after its debut, Starz's Spartacus franchise will explore how the title character leads the slave rebellions.
Bowing Jan. 27 at 10 p.m., Spartacus: Vengeance picks up a few weeks after the bloodbath at the House of Batiatus that resulted in the gladiators' freedom and was depicted in the premium network's intiial adaptation of the story, Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
During the upcoming campaign, Capua is in an uproar, with the escapees forming an uneasy alliance. Spartacus wants to exact revenge on the man responsible for killing his wife, but he will soon understand that his life is about something greater than avenging Sura's death. His mission: to build an army, set free the slaves and topple the Roman Empire.
Australian actor Liam McIntyre (Ektopos, HBO's The Pacific) is now manning the title role, following the death of Andy Whitfield, who succumbed to a long battle with non-Hodgkin-lymphoma in September. With Whitfield's health uncertain, Starz elected to air a six episode prequel,Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, which premiered last January.
The premium network cast McIntyre in the role in January, after Whitfield suffered a recurrence of the cancer the previous fall.
McIntyre is met y returning characters Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Battlestar Galactica) as Lucretia; Peter Mensah (Avatar, 300) as Oenomaus - once known as Doctore; Manu Bennett (The Marine, 30 Days of Night), as Crixus; Dustin Clare (Underbelly, Satisfaction) as Gannicus; Nick Tarabay (Crash, CSI: Miami) as Ashur; and Katrina Law (Third Watch) as Mira.
The new season also features Blood and Sand players: Craig Parker (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) as Gaius Cladius Glaber, the Roman commander who condemned Spartacus to slavery, and his alluring, cunning wife Ilithyia portrayed by Viva Bianca (Accidents Happen).
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Dirt) joins the series as Naevia, the former body slave to Lucretia, who was banished from the Ludus for engaging in a love affair with Crixus.