Spartacus, starring John Hannah is set to return to Starz in January as a prequel. John Hannah's co-star Andy Whitfield has been getting treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and will be in 2 out of 6 episodes. Shooting is expected to resume this summer in New Zealand:
The prequel series will focus on the rise of the House of Batiatus, the gladiator academy, and will revolve around the relationship between [Lucy] Lawless' and Hannah's characters, Lucretia and Batiatus.
...When Whitfield is able to get back to work on a more regular basis, the "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" story will continue where it left off. In the meantime, Starz is casting a new character, who preceded Spartacus and Crixus as the top gladiator at the House of Batiatus.
Aside from Hannah, Lawless, and Whitfield, fans can expect to see more familiar faces among the prequel's cast members. [Zap2it]