Just like it did with Spartacus‘ second season, which was ordered before the series had premiered, Starz today renewed the toga-and-sandals drama for a third season ahead of the January 27 debut of Season 2, Spartacus: Vengeance. Production on the yet-untitled third season is slated 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 ran in January 2011 and averaged an estimated 6.2 million total viewers per episode across all linear channels and on-demand viewing.