The upcoming third season of Starz’s flagship series Spartacus will be its last. The pay cable network also has set the title for the upcoming final season, Spartacus: War Of The Damned. It will premiere in January 2013. “It was an extremely difficult and emotional decision for my partners and I,” series creator/executive producer Steven S. DeKnight said. “Yet, in the end, the story was best served by rolling all of the remaining action and drama of Spartacus’ journey into one stunningly epic season that will be extremely satisfying for everyone who’s been along for the ride.”
Spartacus was a breakout hit for Starz when its first cycle, Blood And Sand, premiered in January 2010. The series survived the tragic loss of its star, Andy Whitfield, who died of cancer last year. Its second season, Spartacus: Vengeance, featuring Liam McIntyre in the title role, averaged more than 6 million weekly viewers. The series introduced to TV a visually stylized violence previously only seen in movies like 300, spawned a successful prequel, Gods Of The Arena, and was sold in 150 countries. It also has been a top-selling DVD title. “Spartacus is a landmark series for the network which has enthralled millions of viewers and fans around the world,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said. “We are in agreement with our partners in the decision to conclude the story after War Of The Damned, as we believe it is the best way to maintain the integrity of the series and secure its legacy.”
Making the decision that Season 3 will be last ahead of time is important as Spartacus is a historic figure and his life on the show has to follow a documented path to a pre-determined conclusion. War Of The Damned, now in production in New Zealand, takes place following the defeat of Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber. Spartacus and his men have amassed major victories against the Romans after the Battle of Vesuvius, increasing the ranks of the rebellion slaves to more than 30,000. This year, new sets for the series will include the construction of a full city, a Roman Villa, and the scene of the epic battle along the Appian Way. War Of The Damned stars returning cast members McIntyre (Spartacus), Manu Bennett (Crixus), Dustin Clare (Gannicus), Dan Feuerriegel (Agron), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Naevia) and Ellen Hollman (Saxa) as well as new additions Todd Lasance as Gaius Julius Caesar, Simon Merrells as Marcus Crassus and Anna Hutchison as Laeta.