Daytime soap star Marisa Ramirez and Australian TV star Dustin Clare have been cast in Starz’ new “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” six-part prequel series “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.”
(Update: ‘Dexter’s’ Jamie Murray has also been cast as girlfriend to Lucy Lawless)
Ramirez will reportedly play a slave girl caught up in some very dangerous relationships. While that’s not a lot of information, if the role is similar to that played by slave girls Lesley-Ann Brandt and newbie Laura Surrich in the original “Spartacus” series, we’re going to have to stock up on Kleenex immediately.
Best know for her roles on “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless,” Ramirez does have a few genre creds to her name including the 2005 frightener All Souls Day: Dia De Los Muertos and appearances on the televison shows “Supernatural,” “Castle,” and “Roswell.”
Dustin Clare takes on the lead role of Gannicus, the first gladiator to become champion of Capua under the fledgling House of Batiatus.
Starz explains (via press release):
Batiatus is not yet the head of the family, or the ludus. Gannicus is the undisputed lead gladiator in the Ludus, but in the class-conscious world of ancient Capua, the House of Batiatus still hasn’t earned the respect of local society, or the right for its gladiators to fight in the championship bouts. Gannicus must survive the arena to not only keep his place in the ludus but also rise to become the champion in all of Capua.
Original “Spartacus” stars John Hannah and Lucy Lawless will reprise their respective roles as the debauched husband and wife team of Batiatus and Lucretia. Andy Whitfield, who plays Spartacus in the original series, will also make an appearance on the new show.
“Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” is set to begin production next month in New Zealand. The spinoff will premiere on Starz in January.