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The Spartacus: Vengeance panel here at Comic-Con is about to get started and I'll be covering all of the action as it plays out. With the long-awaited second season set to return next year, and a new lead actor taking over the title role, it should be interesting to hear what the actors and series creator Steven DeKnight have to say. The panel will be starting soon, so check in and hit refresh to get the updates!
Panelists: Liam McIntyre, Lucy Lawless, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare, Katrina Law, Steven SDeKnight.
5:47 p.m. PST - Looks like things are about to get started. The audience is excited and ready to go. We're starting with a trailer. Horses and swords! Spartacus clearly still angry about his wife being enslaved and kills. Slash, sword, Liam McIntyre: "I am Spartacus." We're seeing lots of new scenes. Ilythia screaming in terror. Lucy Lawless looking disheveled. Slashy, swordy, bloody. The vengeance thing's definitely coming through here. Characters are not looking happy. Great trailer! Hopefully Starz will have it up online soon!
5:51 - Cast coming out. Lots of applause. Huge cheers for Lucy Lawless. Steven introduces Liam McIntyre to the crowd. "I think you saw from the trailer, he looks pretty god-damned good." Apparently, Liam and Steven only just met in person yesterday. They've been communicating via Skype until now. Liam says this has been an absolutely "mind-bending journey so far." He goes on to say that this is a great privilige and a great honor to have this role. He says Andy was amazing. "The best thing I can do is bust my ass and work really damn hard and honor their legacy."
5:53 - Steven says Andy is doing very well right now, but he can't go into details. Liam says he lost weight for another role before this and he's working out to put on the weight.
5:55 - He says the cast has been pretty nice to him so far, but he heard Dustin Clare is a trouble maker. Prankster. Steven talking about the changes to the show. "My plan for this season is to kill more people. I won't give anything away but there's an episode where we kill A LOT of people." DeKnight describes this as a gigantic season.
5:56 - DeKnight says Spartacus will learn how to be a leader and that he is not the only one out for vengeance. He brings up Lucy Lawless (Lucretia). "You may have noticed from the trailer, she looks a little off." Lawless describes Lucretia's state as bereft, having lost her husband and her child. She's going to "claw her way back to some platform of power."
5:58 - Manu on Crixus - The battle continues. Now he's talking about Liam and how great his is to work with. He also serves up some credit for Steven DeKnight on the great writing.
6:00 - Dustin Clare jokes that Gannicus has been studying to be a hairdresser since earning his freedom. Serious aswer is that he's learning to be a free man. The subject veers toward sex, and now Manu is talking about porridge and orgies.
6:03 - Steven DeKnight says Ilythia returns in grand fashion. Katrina Law talking about Mira and her feelings for Spartacus, as well as adjusting to being a free woman.
6:05 - Steven DeKnight says Batiatus is his alter-ego. "The gods once again spread cheeks and ram c--- up a--" is one of his favorite lines. Liam likes the inventive cursing. DeKnight says there are drinking songs coming up this season. "We've got a slew of them." One of the consistent notes he's gotten from Starz is "We don't understand what everyone's saying." They've worked to find a middle ground on the dialogue. Liam points out that Spartacus doesn't really curse.
6:08 - Dustin says his favorite line from Gods of the Arena was when his character was told he was free.
6:10 - DeKnight says there are flashbacks every now and then with Lucy and Manu (Lucretia and Crixus).
6:12 Liam says he's very grateful that Andy gave his blessing. "It makes my job easier knowing that the guy who started the whole thing is ok with this. That means a lot to me."
6:13 - Manu talking about how great the cast is together. Very light-hearted all the time. "Really, genuinely such good friendships." Liam says that everyone has their own little personality things. He likes the contrast between everyone acting friendly between takes and then diving into the drama and violence when the cameras roll.
6:16 - Questioner asking about Oenomaus (Peter Mensah is not at the panel). Questioner commented on Oenomaus shown being whipped in the trailer. Lucy Lawless says, "Yeah, but he deserved it." (Thinking about it from Lucretia's perspective, I can see where she's coming from).
6:19 - Steven DeKnight says Dustin Clare is great in Underbelly. Questioner is asking about Ashur. Lawless says he's there and he's wild. "Totally dangerous and totally useful."
6:21 - Manu talking about taboos in Spartacus and how they're not really taboos by comparison to the time. Questioner asking how Lucretia will fill the void with Batiatus gone. Lucy Lawless says coyly, "The void is filled." She goes on to talk about her relationship with Ilythia, which will continue to develop and we won't be able to guess what happens.
6:25 - Questioner asked if they're all familiar with seeing each other naked. Some jokes about that and Liam answers yes, they're very familiar with it.
6:26 - Talking about the historical leeway in adapting the story. DeKnight says he fills that leeway with sex and violence.
6:27 - Liam McIntyre is asked to offer a rage-filled "I am Spartacus." Liam asks the audience to join him. Every one screams "I am Spartacus!"
6:28 - Steven DeKnight says Andy won't be shown in flashbacks as Spartacus. He jokes that if he and Liam were to touch, it would create some kind of temporal rift. There's one instance when they had to do a flashback.
6:29 - Steven DeKnight says he'd do another prequel series. "Hell yeah, I want a yacht!" Lucy says she likes wild words where she can live a parallel life. She says part of playing a role for her is to experience a parallel existence.
br> 6:33 - Manu says Crixus will try to find Naevia. Manu is now talking about hard and soft swords used during fights. He has a scar across his chest from being slashed with a sword on set. He pulls his shirt down to show it to the audience.
6:35 - Liam on Crixus, Spartacus and Gannicus - "Three alpha males don't always get along. It's gonna get heated."
6:39 - We're being shown the trailer again, which makes me think this is about to wrap up. Nope, one more question from the moderator! Asking the cast and DeKnight if they feel any healthy competition with Game of Thrones. Liam McIntyre says he watches GoT. Steven DeKnight says he loves Game of Thrones. "I think it's fantastic!
And that wraps it up. It's great to see the cast and I'm now missing the series more than ever!