You’d think it would be difficult — if not impossible — to keep fans happy when they know their hero is about to die. But the folks behind Spartacus: War of the Damned don’t seem too worried. In fact, as the Starz series prepares to launch its final season on Jan. 25, creator Steven S. DeKnight reminds us that Spartacus’ death at the hands of his Roman oppressors is “not unlike the story of the Titanic. It’s no big secret the boat will sink. It’s how you get there that keeps the audience invested.”
In War of the Damned, the former gladiator (Liam McIntyre) leads a massive, growing army of rebel slaves. That soon pits him against the up-and-coming Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) and Rome’s hotshot military commander Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells). The latter ultimately defeated Spartacus, who — depending on which history you read — either perished in battle or was captured and crucified. Whichever way, “we will leave our fans with quite a gut punch,” promises DeKnight. “But the final episode is also rousing and inspiring and really beautiful. I was moved to tears in the editing room — and I wrote the damn thing!”
Every year, Starz’s “Spartacus" ups the ante, and the new season — the drama’s final go-round — is no exception.
In HuffPost TV’s exclusive video above, the show’s producers, technical wizards and actors talk about the epic new sets and the massive battles the show has built for its January return.
Gone are the days when Spartacus and his band of brothers were locked inside their ludus or skulking around Capua: The gladiators and their followers, who have rebelled against the Roman system of slavery, are taking their show on the road. In “Spartacus: War of the Damned,” we’ll also see the snazzy villa of Marcus Crassus, a wealthy new character, in addition to cities, towns and encampments. We’ll witness massive battles between the slaves and the Romans sent to quell their rebellion. Glimpses of all those sets and some of those upcoming scenes can be seen in the exclusive video above.
"This season especially, I would hate to waste an episode since we only have 10 to wrap up the story," creator Steven S. DeKnight told HuffPost TV in a June interview. “And I can tell you, production-wise, it’s a huge challenge because every single episode is just gigantic.”
Before the gladiators hang up their swords for good, the “Spartacus” team is burningto bring its loyal audience something pretty epic, as you can see at the tail end of this video.
"Spartacus" returns for its final season in January on Starz.