Andy Whitfield Leaving SPARTACUS

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

According to The Hollywood Reporter, series star Andy Whitfield will not be returning for the second season of SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND, which was due to air in 2011.

Whitfield was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this year, leading to production being halted on Starz’s Ancient Roman drama. It was hoped that he would return after completion of treatment, but according to a statement by his publicist: “[Whitfield] has been advised by his doctors to immediately resume aggressive treatment for a recurrence of cancer, as a result of which he will not be returning for the series’ second season”.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand is a heavily fictionalized series based around the historical figure of Spartacus, a slave-turned-Gladiator who lead a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Whitfield starred in the title role.

A six-episode prequel entitled Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, initially designed to fill the season two gap, is already in production and will tell the story of the rise of the House of Batiatus. It is set to air in January 2011.

Starz have yet to make a decision on the future of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.