Spartacus Debuts in US
Former warrior princess Lucy Lawless stars as Lucretia in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, “a sword-and-sandals epic that Starz, the US premium cable network, rolls out January 22”. Spartacus is a flashy, big-budget attempt to forge a brand, complete with a big-name costar (Lawless) and the heavily stylised, comic-book-like use of green-screen technology familiar from movies like 300 and Sin City. “We tried to do the western, operatic version of violence and bloodshed,” said executive producer Rob Tapert, Lawless’ husband. Spartacus took advantage of tax breaks in New Zealand — where Tapert and Lawless now spend much of the year — and was shot entirely on soundstages, with effects and settings filled in later by computer.