Andy Whitfield Not Returning for Second Season of SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND
Published: September 18, 2010 - 12:38pm
The star of the hit sword and sandals show Spartacus: Blood and Sand will not return for the second season due to a grim medical prognosis.
It has been confirmed via press release that Spartacus: Blood and Sand star, Andy Whitfield, will not be returning for the second season. The actor was in remission following being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March. Unfortunately the actor has been advised resume “aggressive treatment” for the disease. The press release included a statement from the star,
“It’s with a deep sense of disappointment that I must step aside from such an exceptional project as Spartacus and all the wonderful people involved. It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey. Thank you for the support so far.”
The production of season two had been delayed in the spring while Whitfield underwent treatment. After being declared cancer-free in June the actor began training for season two. Word was Whitfield was going to be in 2 of the planned 6 episodes of the second season, which was suppose to be a prequel of sorts. The prequel season was to focus on the rise of the House of Batiatus, the gladiator academy, and revolved around the relationship between Lawless' and Hannah's characters, Lucretia and Batiatus. "The prequel story maintains the excitement and entertainment value of the first season of 'Spartacus,' giving audiences the engaging experience they've come to expect," Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement released Tuesday, May 11.
At this point, the network has not made any decisions regarding the series’ future. A statement was also included from Starz Media’s Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik in the press release, “Right now, we just want to extend our concern and support to Andy and his family. We will address our programming plans at some later date.”
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, a prequel to the series, will still air as scheduled in January 2011.