Film Review Online has an interview with Rob and two stars from the show Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena – Producer Rob Tapert and stars Dustin Clare and Peter Mensah on the tragic past - 23 January 2011
The extraordinary success of Starz graphically violent, explicitly sexual, series Spartacus: Blood and Sand guaranteed it a second season – but when its star, Andy Whitfield, became seriously ill, the show was put on hold. Then the producers came up with a brilliant stop-gap, to do a prequel.
In Spartacus: Gods of the Arena the story revolves around the House of Batiatus before Spartacus’ arrival. It’s a time of transition as Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (John Hannah) takes the reins of his father’s stable of gladiators.He stakes his fortunes on the roguish gladiator Gannicus (Dustin Clare), a man whose skills with a sword is surpassed only by is appetite to live every day as if it were his last. Also returning in the prequel is the popular character, Oenomaus (Peter Mensah).
The series’ producer Rob Tapert and actors Dustin Clare and Peter Mensah spoke about the prequel at the TV Critics tour last week.
Snippets from the interview
In the beginning you were shooting a lot of blue screen, are you still using that technology?
Rob Tapert: In terms of production, we only do more virtual sets as we go forward. So what we had in the first season of Spartacus and in the prequel were a fixed amount of locations and a lot of the skies and some arenas.
In the prequel we actually built an arena, which was kind of cool. But going forward into Season 2, it is much more using all the technology that’s available out there. So we will be a much more expensive show, and a show that has a much larger visual range to it because we’re using more blue screen, utilizing the technology to tell our great stories against.
Your main protagonist in the first season was obviously Spartacus, do you have a central protagonist this season?
Rob Tapert: We do, it’s very similar to Season 1 except that the engine is going faster. Gannicus is the gladiator at the middle, and the stories are spinning around him, the same way the stories spun around Spartacus.