Spartacus Production Delayed As Whitfield Battles Cancer

By Kelly West 5 years ago discussion comments
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Production for Starz’s series Spartacus: Blood and Sand has been halted due to the recent cancer diagnosis for series star Andy Whitfield. That’s the bad news. The good news is, from what it sounds like, they caught it early and Whitfield’s situation is described as “very treatable.”

The Hollywood Reporter posted the news, stating that Andy Whitfield, who plays the title character in Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is set to start treatment immediately. As the second season was set to begin production in New Zealand, it seems that’s going to have to be put off until Whitfield is well enough to return to work.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy," says Chris Albrecht, president and CEO of Starz. "His health, of course, is our primary concern. He has our complete support during this difficult time."

Whitfield’s diagnosis is unfortunate. What’s worse is that this makes him the second cable star recently to be diagnosed with cancer. Michael C. Hall, who stars as the title character in Showtime's Dexter is just finishing up his treatments for Hodgkins lymphoma. While Hall’s battle with cancer appears to be ending (and successfully, which is certainly good news), it sounds as though Whitfield’s is just beginning. Let’s hope his treatment is as successful as Hall’s reportedly is.

In related news, for those of you who are watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand, here’s some information that Starz released on the next couple of episodes.

Ep. 108: “Mark of the Brotherhood” – Premieres Friday, March 12th at 10pm ET/PT
Crixus (Manu Bennett) is not too pleased that Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) has taken his title of Champion of Capua or to hear that Batiatus (John Hannah) is considering selling him before word gets out that he has fallen so far. Elsewhere in the Ludos, Varro, (Jai Courtney), who sold himself into the gladiator life to pay off gambling debts, has fallen back on old habits, while Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) stokes Ilythia’s (Viva Bianca) growing passion for gladiatorial arts, even encouraging her friend to buy one of the newcomers.

Ep. 109: “Whore” – Premieres Friday, March 19th at 10pm ET/PT
Sex, intrigue and betrayal permeate life at Batiatus’ (John Hannah) Ludus as the triumphant Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) upsets the old balance of power while scheming by some behind-the-scenes players leads to tragedy. But it’s the sexual betrayals that cause the most uproar when rich women seek thrills from ever-ready gladiators doing their duty – all of them disguised by masks – engaging in a spirited Roman custom. However, when identities are revealed, death follows and spoiled rich girl Ilythia (Viva Bianca) finds herself in a precarious, horrifying position for a woman of her status.

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