Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011)
“Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” tells the story of the Champion of the House of Batiatus in a more ruthless time before Spartacus’ arrival, when honor was just finding its way into the arena. As the prequel begins, Quintus Batiatus is the acting Lanista while his father is on an extended visit to Sicilia. But Batiatus isn’t satisfied with just the thought of taking over the Ludus one day; he aspires to political power and prestige in Capua, and perhaps beyond. In the class-conscious world of ancient Rome, the House of Batiatus must first earn the respect of politicians as well as socialites before being granted the right for its gladiators to fight in the much-revered championship bouts called the Primus. Batiatus must not only survive the harsh politics of Capua, but also compel his hedonistic fighter, Gannicus, to embrace being a champion gladiator who will bring esteem and respect to the House of Batiatus.
Purchase your copy of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena today at
Download Spartacus: Gods of the Arena from iTunes.
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena images are © Starz Media. All Rights Reserved.
"The past is seldom as we would have it. The future unknown. Emb... 04/11/2013 9:13 AM EST
"The past is seldom as we would have it. The future unknown. Embrace the present and strike all else from concern." These are the words spoken by our legendary leader and hero, Spartacus. It's been a long journey to this point, first he was a slave, then a husband, a free man; and finally a leader of freed slaves.Check-in to Spartacus: War of The Damned, with the iPhone Movie Countdown Clock App. ... More>>
How Will 'Spartacus' End? 03/13/2013 8:39 PM EST
The end is nigh!! Spartacus fans take heade, only 4 episodes to go before the finale of the Starz series. If you've been enjoying the final season so far, then you're going to really these next two stories. Previously, we watched as Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) and his army was driven out of the city they had taken hold of by the Roman legions led by Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells). In "Mors Indece... More>>
Spartacus: War of The Damned, Compelling, Worthy For Newcomers 02/25/2013 3:32 PM EST
When last we left Spartacus and his merry horde, they had seized a Roman city, taken hostages and taken in more wayward refugees. Those were the good things that happened, the bad pretty much falls into those three points. Staying in the city has allowed the soldiers to become restless and impudent. The hostages they have taken have become a source of contention between Spartacus and his lieutenan... More>>
Spartacus: War of The Damned Continues To Delight Viewers 02/06/2013 11:25 AM EST
The story of Spartacus is known to most people and Showtime has done a great job telling their version of the classic tale. Now in its final season, the series gears up for the beginning of the end for Spartacus and his revolution. Check-in to Spartacus: War of The Damned, with the iPhone Movie Countdown Clock App. In Episode 2, we saw Spartacus and his band of warriors take a Roman city for t... More>>
Are You Ready For Spartacus: War of The Damned? 01/09/2013 7:53 PM EST
The story of Spartacus is a classic tale and uniquely the same can be said for the TV series inspired from the ancient story. When executive producer Steven DeKnight first came to the project, he knew little about it or even the name. All he did know was that Sam Raimi was attached. Could he have predicted that it would become the most successful series on a network that had just started making it... More>>
Spartacus to Spawn Caesar Spinoff? 11/29/2012 10:17 AM EST
"Spartacus", the Starz drama which will soon be ending its run, will see a spinoff.Nothing is definite yet, but there are talks that the spinoff could be centered around Gaius Julius Caesar. The character will be introduced to the show in the third and final season, and will be played by Australian actor Todd Lasance. The season, titled " Spartacus: War Of The Damned", could be a great jumping o... More>>
Spartacus Star Andy Whitfield Passes Away 09/12/2011 3:08 PM EST
Fans were saddened today, September 12, 2011, to hear that "Spartacus" star Andy Whitfield passed away. Andy, who was 39, died on Sunday in Australia. Andy was diagnosed with lymphoma back in March of 2010. In addition to staring in the television show, "Spartacus", he also was in "McLeod's Daughters" and "The Strip", both television series as well. In Spartacus, Andy played the title role and... More>>
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Theatrical Review
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is a Starz original TV series that is a prequel to the successful Roman era Starz TV show, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Spartacus: Blood and Sand is going into its second season. I did not see Blood and Sand, but I had a chance to watch the opening episode of Gods and get into a web-chat with some of the major actors. I can tell you that I will be checking out the original. Gods of the Arena, being a prequel, happens "before" Blood and Sand and gives us a chance to see how some of the characters actually developed. Gods of the Arena, as you might guess, focuses on the character of Gannicus (Dustin Clare), a gladiator from Capua; Blood and Sand focuses on the famous Spartacus who led a slave uprising.
There are a few things you need to know about Gods of the Arena. I would say that the "lineage" of the first is pretty clearly HBO's Rome and Zack Snyder's 300. You could also count Scott's Gladiator. I am not just saying this because it is set in the same era; I am saying it because it has the cable-channel sex and the stylized, highly-kinetic violence to let us draw a direct comparison. It is hard to say if it will hit the same high notes with character development and political intrigue that Rome did. However, I will say this -- Rome is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, so even including it in the same category, is an achievement; but it definitely delivers on the experience.
In the first episode of Gods, you meet Gannicus as a slave who will become a champion. Dustin Clare trained intensely up to seven hours a day to get a "300"-style physique (a nearly perfect-chiseled form) to be able to perform the stunts and fighting moves exhibited in the arena. The result, combined with what is apparently a world-class group of fight choreographers and stunt coordinators, are battle scenes that are in the top category for anything I have seen in a movie or certainly any TV show. While I question some of the "historical accuracy" of the free-running style maneuvers and the need for some of the in-your-face gore, the result is gripping. The shows makers have two historians on staff, but admit the show is just that -- first and foremost a show -- the actors in the chat note that the arena we see was a bit too big for its era -- that it was really an Imperial era arena. This freedom with history doesn't bother me; the show captures what was probably the most dangerous form of entertainment ever developed.
The rest of the cast is strong. When they cast Lucy Lawless, a strong Roman woman (Lucretia), you know they paid attention to what they had to do. The camera work and general craft of the sets is impeccable. When we see narrow Roman streets teaming with naked slave girls, craftsmen, and beggars, we don't immediately think "that's a set" -- it looks accurate, and, probably, difficult to film in.
The show is shocking, kinetic, reasonably educational, and entertaining. I happen to really like the time period; and I think Gods of the Arena has done an excellent job of bringing it home. It is definitely worth watching.
-- Marco Chacon
For more reviews please visit our film/television review section.