Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight tells THR the the decision to conclude the drama, which helped put the premium cable network ~ above the map, was "one of the determinants in the wholesale slaughter in ~ the finish of last season."


The upcoming 3rd season the Starz’s Spartacus will certainly be that is last.

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The premium cable network and showrunner Steven S. DeKnight agreed to conclude the Liam McIntyre starrer through a 10-episode operation titled battle of the Damned, which will kick off in January. Manufacturing is underway in new Zealand, through DeKnight already having penned the series finale.

Spartacus stands as the first original scripted drama the network occurred in-house and has proved to be a beneficial property because that Starz, through its many recent season — Spartacus Vengeance — averaging an ext than 6 million viewers every week. In addition, the duration drama that featured the shocking deaths of six major characters including Lucy Lawless‘ Lucretia in that is Season 2 finale airs in more than 150 nations worldwide.

The Hollywood Reporter caught up through DeKnight to talk about making the decision to finish the collection and just how it factored in the bloody end to Vengeance, the franchise’s value to Starz and what’s next.

STORY: ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ Finale Postmortem: Creator Addresses its Bloody death Toll

The Hollywood Reporter: Why finish it now?Steven S. DeKnight: Shocking, isn’t it? It’s a bit unheard of to end a display when it’s doing much better than ever. It’s a bold move, and also we talked around it through Starz. Exactly how long perform you run a show? execute you operation it till you can squeeze every last bit of revenue out of it, or perform you finish it top top a high note? the was component of the decision to wrap increase the show: The idea of finishing the display when you’re on top and also the audience still wants an ext instead the dragging that out until it starts come wane and also you sort of limp to the end up line. I’ve constantly thought that five seasons was the perfect number; you’ve got sufficient time to tell a great story, but there’s no so lot real estate the you begin to get a tiny flabby in the middle. This is ending a season early. Spartacus is a little of an unexplained duck. We’ve always had an ending — it’s composed in background — so we knew wherein we were shooting for. My initial thought was the this show can go 5 to seven seasons, but we establish the actual background is an extremely scattershot: The rebels walk north, south, east, west, then earlier north, then broke apart, came ago together. Us thought, instead of repeating ourselves with one tide of roman inn senators after an additional going after Spartacus, getting defeated, going after ~ Spartacus, getting defeated, why no really condense the story, give the juiciest parts to Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells). It’s choose The Princess Bride: reduced out every the boring bits and just do the best, many rip-roaring-est story we can to wrap increase the series.

Did you recognize when the present was renewed in November the this season would certainly be that last? We to be 90 percent sure once we were working on the last pair episodes last season the this would probably be the critical season. It was among the determinants in the all slaughter in ~ the finish of critical season. Whereby the story was going, for instance Lucretia and Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) yes, really didn’t right in people of Marcus Crassus and also Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) in any kind of kind that natural, essential storytelling way. There to be a bit of housecleaning at the finish of the season come prep for this final season. We were still kicking around, “Do we do two much more seasons? perform we do prolonged 16-episode run?” Ultimately, a mix of story and production involves made united state decide to execute 10 the the the strongest episodes that we can.

PHOTOS: ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ Who’s that — satisfy Season 2’s Players

Do you have a specific scene in your mind because that the last frame? I didn’t quite have actually the very particular final moment until we started working top top this season. The tricky thing around this collection is it’s very well known in history; points don’t end well. It’s among the amazing things the Kirk Douglas did in his production of Spartacus — to finish with a defeat yet with a beam of hope. That absolutely is our goal. It’d be a disservice come the audience come spend four years the town hall the struggle, murder everybody and also say, “Well, lock lost.” You certainly need to end on some feeling that the battle was precious it, whether win, lose or draw; the it’s worth standing up to oppression.

What haven’t you done with the series that you’d like to prior to it ends? I’m trying to think if there’s anything us haven’t excellent at this point! We’ve bring away babies end cliffs, melted down one arena, massacred human being in just around every method imaginable. Ns can’t say the there’s one thing I great we had done or wish we can do. It’s a testament to Starz; lock let us do every little thing we feel the story requires. The perfect instance is once Lucretia take it the infant over the cliff — us were persuaded we would have actually a huge fight over that. Rob Tapert and I are provided to working through networks, and also said: “This is great. Of food she takes the baby over the cliff!” Also, any other network when your lead actor drops seriously ill would have canceled the show, yet Starz was really committed to finishing the story. They thought it would certainly be a disservice come the memory of Andy <Whitfield, star the Spartacus: Blood and also Sand, who passed away in September that lymphoma> and to pan to just stop the show. They wanted to plunder it approximately its conclusion.

STORY: ‘Spartacus’ Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight squid Two-Year in its entirety Deal in ~ Starz

Lost being a tipping suggest for collection that have announced an finish date, will certainly you seek advice from anyone for the collection finale, possibly Damon Lindelof or Joss Whedon? We actually just finished breaking the collection finale. Ns sought the way counsel the my authors room. Among the points that renders this different, i think Damon was faced with an impossible difficulty with Lost because it to be a show built on so many mysteries the it’s an extremely hard to provide a satisfying ending to a mystery, specifically one the was together epic as that. It’s the very same thing v Battlestar Galactica; over there were details mysteries built in that not everybody is walk to be happy with the answers. Thankfully v Spartacus, we’re not built on mysteries, and we have some kind of historical guidepost to help us.

How walk the collection change because that you after ~ Andy’s death? was it much more of a difficulty to write?It to be very difficult working ~ above the display knowing that wouldn’t be part of it. Us really want to honor him as lot as feasible to proceed the story; that wanted us to proceed the story. That felt very strongly that it was a story the needed to it is in told, that should be said in this day and age. And it to be an inspiring story; that absolutely helped. Liam McIntyre constantly talks around how he really hopes his performance honors Andy. Us all simply loved the man so much.

STORY: former ‘Spartacus’ Star Andy Whitfield dies of Lymphoma

What go War the the Damned represent?War the the Damned was actually one of the very first ideas we came up with. We come up with some an ext stuff and also came earlier to that. We wanted to have a title that was epos but also carried that slight feeling of doom and foreboding, the it was definitely a dark title. We assumed that the really incorporated what the totality season to be about, not simply on the hero’s side. One of the points I love about War that the Damned is, exactly how do we find victory in the face of defeat? and also the flip side of that, what happens as soon as you win but you lose? Those are two points we yes, really explored this season.

How has actually the Spartacus franchise aided shape and also define Starz? We were exceptionally fortunate to it is in the show that put a network top top the map. You always dream around having that opportunity, and obviously that comes up once in a blue moon. To it is in the an initial original Starz production that they produced and also to have actually that display actually hit and also really aid define the network, it’s an exceptional feeling. We’re incredibly grateful because that the possibility and really happy that it resolved so well because that everyone.

You’re likewise a bigger component of the network’s future too, signing their an initial overall deal there. Will you stick with the swords-and-sandals genre?I’m relocating out that the historic drama. Ns wish I could tell girlfriend what I’m functioning on, however it’s at sight top an enig at the moment. I think we’ll it is in announcing later this year. I went in and pitched an idea to Starz critical August as component of my overall deal that they liked, and also I’ve composed a pilot and also we’re emerging it. I have actually various ide designers hard at work, and also hopefully late summer or early on fall I’ll have the ability to tell everyone about it. It’s something that I’ve constantly wanted come do.

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STORY: ‘Spartacus’ Casts that Julius Caesar and Marcus Crassus

You’ve lugged in a slate of brand-new characters for Season 3, consisting of Julius Caesar and also Marcus Crassus.Any chance we can see a Julius Caesar spinoff? You never ever know. In the halls that Starz, we frequently whisper around a spinoff. We’ve collection up a world that is just perfect to spin off into other locations during this time period. I would never ever want to do anything there is no Rob Tapert; that is without a doubt the other half of this show, and it wouldn’t it is in a success without him. Us are open up to, down the road, revisiting this world, whether it’s Julius Caesar, even if it is it’s collection in the same time period or even if it is it’s a small later in the time period. The look and the feeling of the show would it is in a natural candidate because that a spinoff under the road. <Update: DeKnight’s mysterious job is explained as a Halo-like video game crossed with HBO’s Band the Brothers, according to EW. It’s meant to be similar to Spartacus in its usage of environment-friendly screen and also is in the at an early stage stages the development.>

Starz’s advance slate likewise includes a superordinary drama (The Brink), a duration drama (Da Vinci’s Demons), 13th century drama Marco Polo, period miniseries Harem and also a Treasure Island prequel (Black Sails). Perform you watch Spartacus as having collection the tone because that the future of Starz?I would prefer to think the we had actually some lot of influence on looking at slates and looking at what works and what doesn’t. They’ve obtained some great stuff comes up. I simply finished reading the pilot for the Treasure Island prequel, and I could not have loved that more. I’m kicking myself that ns didn’t develop it; it’s simply so much of what i love about that specific time period. Starz has actually some stuff coming up that’s going to be absolutely an excellent and really lug on the torch ~ Spartacus wraps up.

Hit the comments v your think on Starz’s decision to wrap the present after Season 3. Spartacus: war of the Damned will premiere in January. Inspect out a teaser, below.