SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA, the highly anticipated prequel to the hit series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, will debut on Friday, July 1 at 10:00 pm on MAX. This six-part series centers around the story of Gannicus, the charismatic gladiator aspiring to become Champion of Capua, played by Australian actor Dustin Clare, and his master, Quintus Batiatus, played again by John Hannah (The Mummy), itching for the chance to rise in status in the Roman outpost town.
SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA tells the story of the Champion of the House of Batiatus in a more ruthless time before Spartacus’ arrival, when honor was just finding its way into the arena. As the prequel begins, Quintus Batiatus is the acting Lanista while his father is on an extended visit to Sicilia. But Batiatus isn’t satisfied with just the thought of taking over the Ludus one day; he aspires to political power and prestige in Capua, and perhaps beyond. In the class-conscious world of ancient Rome, the House of Batiatus must first earn the respect of politicians as well as socialites before being granted the right for its gladiators to fight in the much-revered championship bouts called the Primus. Batiatus must not only survive the harsh politics of Capua, but also compel his hedonistic fighter, Gannicus, to embrace being a champion gladiator who will bring esteem and respect to the House of Batiatus.
On the heels of the success of Spartacus: Blood and Sand which was described by TV Guide as “visually dazzling” and by the Chicago Red Eye as, “bold, ambitious and completely different from anything else on TV,” the prequel will feature returning cast members, including: Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as Batiatus’ equally ambitious wife Lucretia; Peter Mensah (300) as Oenomaus before he becomes the gladiator trainer Doctore; and Manu Bennett as the gladiator Crixus, in addition to Hannah.
Additional new cast members joining Clare include Jaime Murray (Valentine) as Capua’s sexy social climber Gaia and Marisa Ramirez (Mental) as Melitta, a beautiful slave who must face the ultimate decision of the heart. Jeffrey Thomas (Mercy Peak) plays Batiatus’s father Titus, the traditional and cautious Lanista, head of the Ludus.
With the same production team as Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the prequel is produced by award-winning producers Sam Raimi (Spider-Man), Rob Tapert (The Grudge), Joshua Donen (The Quick and the Dead) and Steven S. DeKnight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA premieres Friday, July 1 at 10pm on MAX with a brand new episode airing weekly at the same time. Viewers who missed Spartacus: Blood and Sand can catch an encore of the entire season from June 16 to 25, after the 10pm movie on MAX. Log on to www.cinemaxasia.com for more playtimes.