I was very happy to be able to catch the panel for Spartacus at this year’s Comic Con. Why So Blu has remained a fan of the breakout series since it first began, and while it will always be hard for everyone to get over the loss of its original star, Andy Whitfield, the show has continued on in providing a very entertaining series that manages to stylized ballets of blood and sexuality, while also delivering on interesting dramatic arcs for the various characters on the show. The latest season, titled Spartacus: War of the Damned, is not due to come out until January 2013, but the panel did have plenty to talk about, with a number of surprise guests and the reveal of the first teaser trailer. Continue on to learn more.
Before watching the trailer, the main thing to point out is that War of the Damned is going to be the final chapter in the Spartacus series. As the members of the panel described, while very stylized and constructed to tell a concise story, Spartacus has always been “historicaly adjacent” when it comes to dealing with the acutal events that occurred with these characters, and this final chapter, while certain events and characters have been shifted around, has been structured to deliver a close to the Spartacus story.
Official Teaser Trailer:
The trailer delivered the goods, as I expected it to. Not beating around the bush, we get shots of full on war happening within the Roman Empire. Spartacus has presumably, at this point, become a true leader of a much larger army and is taking on the empire. You can see brief glimpses of the main villains this time around, Marcus Crassus and Caesar himself. And of course there are plenty of great money shots involving bloodshed in all sorts of ways and all of the gory details that go with it.
Present at the panel were stars Liam McIntyre and Manu Bennett, along with executive producer/creator Steven S. DeKnight. All three were in good spirits and happy to talk about there work on the series and how they feel like they are going out with quite the bang. From what I could tell, it would seem that they were almost, if not all the way done with principal photography for the final season, so now it seems like they are ready for a rest.
One particular thing I did want to be to mention is something that the panelists wanted to give a shout out to, which is former Spartacus Andy Whitfield, who, for those who are not aware, Andy passed away September, 2011, after battling with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Not only did McIntrye, Bennett, and DeKnight all invite the audience to join in paying their respects, but Bennett also brought up the Kickstarter campaign that Whitfield’s family has launched, which is for a documentary they are hoping to get funding for, titled Be Here Now, which is about Andy’s life during his later days.
Getting back to some lighter discussion, several surprise cast members eventually made their way on stage and by “several”, I basically mean all of them. Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah, Katrina Law, Viva Bianca, Nick E. Tarabay, Cynthia Addia-Robinson, and Craig Parker all joined in on the panel and continued to add on to the celebration of the series and the fans’ massive support for it. This was all eventually followed by another look at the brand new teaser trailer.
I should also note that on the actual show floor of Comic Con was a playable preview of the upcoming video game, Spartacus Legends, which takes the brutal combat seen in the series and transfers it over to the world of a fighting game. I only played a few rounds, but the signature style of the series is certainly something that has been brought to this video game version.
Spartacus® Legends is a brand-new fighting game coming to Xbox LIVE® and PlayStation®Network in early 2013. It follows the journey of gladiators, from gut-wrenching training to raw, visceral combat in the arena, usually ending in death. Impose your will on the competition, rise through the global ranks and become legendary in battle. Featuring thousands of ruthless weapon combinations and a robust skill system, Spartacus Legends allows you to customize your gladiators and mercilessly dismember your enemies, limb by limb. Challenge your friends, your foes or the worldwide leaderboards, online or offline, to forge your destiny and fight for your house honor. Two men enter the arena, will you come out alive?
Again, Spartacus Legends will arrive in early 2013 and Spartacus: War of the Damned will air starting in January 2013.