reports that Starz, the network of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, is currently casting for its prequel series to the show: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.  The project will run for six episodes next January and begins production next month.  Gods of the Arena came about due to the delay in production for the parent series following news that star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer.  Whitfield has since gotten a clean bill of health and Blood and Sand will begin production immediately after production of Gods of the Arena wraps.

Dustin Claire has just been cast in the lead role of Gannicus, the
champion gladiator in the House of Batiatus before Spartacus came
.  Jaime Murray (Dexter) will portray a Capua social
climber and Marisa Ramirez (General Hospital) has been cast as a slave girl.  Gods will feature the following storylines: Batiatus (John Hannah) is not yet the head of his
family nor of the gladiator training school. Gannicus is the lead
gladiator in the Ludus, but the House of Batiatus hasn’t earned
social respect or the right for its gladiators to fight in
championship bouts. Gannicus struggles to turn around the House’s
Whitfield will make a cameo.