Nick Taraby will reprise his role as Ashur on Spartacus: House of Ashur. Taraby played the role of the Assyrian former gladiator for three seasons on the Starz sword-and-sandal series.
Variety reports that Starz has greenlit Spartacus: House of Ashur with Spartacus series creator Steven S. DeKnight on board as executive producer and showrunner. The official description for House of Ashur reads: “The series poses the question: what if Ashur hadn’t died on Mount Vesuvius at the end of Spartacus: Vengeance? And what if he had been gifted the gladiator school once owned by Batiatus in return for aiding the Romans in killing Spartacus and putting an end to the slave rebellion?”
“A decade ago the groundbreaking original Spartacus captivated viewers worldwide and we’re excited to deliver more enthralling, high-octane drama that our fervent fans have been anticipating,” said Kathryn Busby, president of original programming at Starz. “It is an honor to team up with Steven again as he expands upon the storytelling within this thrilling, action-packed universe.”
The Story of a Real Gladiator Inspired Spartacus
Variety reports, “Spartacus was inspired by the story of the gladiator of the same name who incited a massive slave rebellion against Rome in the year 73 B.C. Per the logline, the sequel series will be set after the defeat of Spartacus and his revolution, depicting ‘a new tale of treachery, deceit and blood unfolding beneath the foreboding shadow of Rome.'”
Spartacus: Blood and Sand debuted on Starz in 2010, followed by the prequel series, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena in 2011. Next came 2012's Spartacus: Vengeance and 2013's Spartacus: War of the Damned. The series became known for its graphic battle sequences and scenes depicting extreme Roman decadence and debauchery.
“To be afforded the opportunity to return a decade later to a series you loved is such a rare, wonderful opportunity,” said DeKnight. “I could not be more excited to craft this next chapter in the Spartacus saga with Starz, Lionsgate, and the incomparable Nick Tarabay.”
In the original series, Andy Whitfield played Spartacus. After doctors diagnosed him with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and he died of the disease in 2011, Liam McIntyre took over the role for Spartacus: Vengeance. Aside from the return of Taraby, Starz has not yet revealed if more actors from the decade-old series will return or if a “Spartacus” character will appear in Spartacus: House of Ashur — perhaps in flashbacks. Starz has no announced release date yet, but with both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes over, production can begin at any time.