It's official: 'Spartacus' moving forward with recast

That this was inevitable doesn’t make it any less sad: Starz has officially started looking for an actor to replace Andy Whitfield on Spartacus.

According to the just-released casting notice, producers are searching for a Caucasian male in his mid to late 30s to play the “smart, intense, passionate” title role. Interested parties must have an authentic British accent and be prepared to sign a three-year contract.

Whitfield was forced to bow out of the show’s second season after doctors advised him to resume “aggressive treatment” for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Last week, exec producer Steven S. DeKnight told me that the production would either “close up shop or recast.” It looks like they’re moving forward with the latter.

My two cents: No one can replace Andy Whitfield. But the person who probably comes closest is Grant Bowler.

Comments (134 total) Add your comment
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  • Simon

    It’s a shame for Andy… But without doubt the right move for the show.

    • darclyte

      Andy wouldn’t want all those people to lose their jobs because of his situation either. Everyone did the right thing. Besides, WHEN he gets better, they can always bring him back as a different character.

      • ribenren

        I love this , So does My boyfriend .he is almost 11year older than me .i met him via age’gapmingle.c’om a nice place for seeking age le ss love.which gives you a chance to make your life better and open opportunities for you to meet the attractive young girls and treat you like a king. Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends..

    • Grant Bowler?

      Sorry. Not seeing it. While there’s a facial resemblance, he looks a little too … old … for the part.

  • Will

    It won’t be the same, but I’m glad the show is continuing. Hope Andy gets well soon.

    • Joe

      Yep, definitely not going to be the same. I’m a bit surprised, the last statement was they aren’t going to worry about what they are going to do with the show for a while… 2 weeks later they announce this?

      • Zoe

        There are hundreds of other cast and crew members whose incomes and livelihoods depend on whether this show is going to continue. If the show is going to go on then the producers have to start *now*. Andy Whitfield is the first person to support this. He doesn’t want his friends to lose their jobs, he doesn’t need that kind of stress in his body at this time.

      • ribenren

        I love this , So does My boyfriend .he is almost 11year older than me .i met him via age’gapmingle.c’om a nice place for seeking age le ss love.which gives you a chance to make your life better and open opportunities for you to meet the attractive young girls and treat you like a king. Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends..dds

      • :P

        Cant they put the show on hold till andy gets better??? plus i would say waiting for andy to return would probly result in HUGE season 2 ratings

    • Lily

      Andy was AMAZING. Get well soon, Andy!!

  • Damian

    Cancel this and bring back Party Down.

    • Real Jersey Jeff

      Even I think you are being insensitive.

      • Eric

        Not sure how this is insensitive. Most show’s would shut down if the actor who plays the title role leaves. Starz could bring back a show that is proven to give them buzz.

  • Dominique

    Even though I’m extremely glad that show isn’t cancelled, I will miss Andy, he was a brilliant Spartacus, so intense and passionate.
    And I think it’s awful how the prods of the show made Andy decide; of course Andy doesn’t want to give up the role, but of course he’s not gonna leave a crew/cast of 200 man out in the cold.
    Looking forward to the 2nd season, but get well soon Andy, that’s more important!

    • MW

      I don’t know if it’s terrible, they probably had no choice but to let him choose. I don’t know for certain,but doesn’t it violate some sort of law to fire someone because they are sick? My guess is that they legally couldn’t cast someone else unless he said he absolutely wouldn’t be coming back.

      • Ekw

        In the entertainment industry as in most others, if a person can no longer fulfill the job description they are replaced. It’s either that or close the show. The part of Spartacus is extremely physical, and only someone capable of that kind of exertion can really satisfy the requisites of the role. So it’s only logical that Andy – under these unfortunate circumstances – be replaced. It’s done in the theater all the time.

    • Heidi

      What about Sawyer (Josh Holloway)? He’d have to swith the southern accent for british but if he can do it, he’s be a great replacement.

      • Greg

        Uh…no. Just No.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Lost is over, find a new show, Sawyer will be lucky to ever work in television again.

      • Susan

        Athough Andy will be missed, I think Heidi had a fantastic idea! Josh was a huge reason that Lost was so fun to watch. He was sexy and smart and he could act the pants off of most of the cast. He really needs to get back on television, fast! Spartacus would be lucky to have him and so would we!!

      • Jaime

        YES I can see it. Josh Holloway would be a great replacement.Of Course Andy will be missed hope to see more fom him in the future.

      • Louie

        doesn’t have that rugged masculine look for the part.

    • Yvette

      First and for most, I wish Andy Nothing short of a Total Recovery from the bottom of my heart. My prayers are with Andy and his family. Day I found out Andy has cancer,I was crushed, not only for because Am and I was so totally memorized by his acting, his looks the show but,also he has a big fight ahead of him. Show will probably will go on, but it will NEVER be the same. Some people are just not unreplaceable Not Andy!!! God Bless you please get better,you are missed and will be missed in future Spartacus…

      • Yvette

        Truly not the same with out Andy, not now not ever

  • Chris

    I don’t think you should recast yet. Give him some time. What’s a year or so. He is unreplaceable.

    • graeme

      Are you going to pay all the rest of the cast and crew to have a year off?

      • Chris

        They can tell another story surrounding the Spartacus story and then when Andy gets well he can come back and they can put the story’s together. Wait for Andy.

    • Jak

      Buzz is everything in this business. Even the most popular show on TV would suffer if you took it off for a year. Look what happened to a lot of successful shows after the writers strike. They were off the air for a long time and people lost interest. They moved on to other things.

  • Michael Sacal

    Meanwhile, elsewhere on the EW website, there is news story about Social Network that explains how special effects were used to make two actors look like twins.

    Imagine using that technology to allow Andy to continue on the role even if it’s played by another actor.

    • sarah

      i wonder how much that would inflate the budget?

      • Michael Sacal

        Of a show that already employs a ton of CGI?

      • Stephanie

        that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. They hear of an idea that just sounds good to them and think “oh do that to make all of us fans happy” without thinking what that would do financially. This is a perfect example, as well as the person who made the comment about shutting down production for a year.

      • Michael Sacal

        I’m a viewer, not the producer nor the show’s accountant.

        My only concern where it comes to a show like Spartacus is the spectacle, not the finances.

        That’s what people who make comments like yours don’t understand. It is not the viewer’s job to worry about how much the production costs. It never has been and it never will be.

    • Dexx

      It would be his acting through facial expressions to make that possible. He isn’t able to do that.

  • Lisa

    Sad to see Andy go but the show must go on.
    It would be an even worse tragedy if the ENTIRE cast was out of work because Starz canceled the show.

    I’m happy Starz is going to carry on.

    • Janey

      That happens all the time. It’s not unfortunate, it’s a fact of life in show business.

      • ger

        It’s even a fact of life in, well, life.

    • Mr.Floppy

      Yeah, because they don’t have money to survive… Come on!

  • Denise

    Whitfield is Spartagus and cannot be replaced. My heart goes out to him, and if there is any way he can return, that’s what I’m hoping for.

    • fred

      I thought Spartagus was a vegetable?

      All kidding aside his illness is serious enough for him to have to leave the show which makes it worse than say, the Michael C. Hall (of Dexter) who also recently had cancer treatment.

      I hope he battles the cancer as well as Spartacus fought as if so he should hopefully recover.

      All the best Whitfield!

      • Dronetek

        Suck to hear Andy will be replaced, but I’m also really happy season 2 is going forward. This is without a doubt the best show on TV.

  • Parisi

    I always thought that Sam Worthington would be the best person to replace Andy. I mean they almost look alike!!

    • Mayan

      @Parisi:you are so right Sam Worthington looks just like Andy he would be perfect for the role we would adjust more easily to him. please everyone lets us vouch for Sam Worthington as the new Spartacus.

    • LOLAFALANA

      yes,I beleive they are very compatible. When I first saw the trailers for spartacus I thought it could of been Sam Worthington. Is he too big, Avatar and all. I beleive he is one of the highest paid actors under 40. Shame. I really think he could pull it off.

    • Lucy

      Oh I so agree, Sam Worthington and Andy could be twins. He would be the best choice, if it has to be. I agree that Grant Bowler looks to old for the part

  • Billy

    Sam Worthington would be awesome, but he’s too busy making crappy big budget movies…

  • Janey

    That’s me done with the show then.

    • Flip

      Agreed.

  • Mary Beth

    Sam Worthington was exactly who I was thinking of. He would be a perfect alternate. But of course there’s only one Andy.

    • Julio

      Agreed! Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation, Clash of The Titans) is the guy to get.

      • rochelle t

        Doesn’t anyone else think that Worthington is quite flat as an actor? I don’t think he has the passion. Grant Bowler was a FREAK on True Blood, it would be hard to see him with his vulnerable side, I’d just keep thinking “they killed my Cooter.” I am a huge fan of this show and I am so sad for Andy and his family. I hope he recovers and comes back to us in some other great things!

  • Kat

    I’ll keep watching. I loved Andy and it will be an adjustment for sure, but I think if they do a good job casting we’ll be able to make the transition. I wish Andy the best in beating his cancer and hope that he finds a great role when he’s ready.

  • kathy

    Although I agree that Andy Whitfield was really incredible in the role, Michael Graziadei (Daniel Romalotti on Young and the Restless) looks A LOT like Andy, but the accent might be an issue. Wish Andy well and hope he recovers quickly.

    • dryedmangoez

      Very interesting! Now that you mention it, Graziadei does look like Andy. He’d have to bulk up a little though, and there’s the lack of accent. But Michael Graziadei is a good actor, I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the role.

  • Jon

    Grant Bowler would be an excellent choice. Would he do nudity? Much more so than a fleeting glimpse in True Blood.

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