It’s been a long, long road for the hit Starz original series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, after its star, Andy Whitfield, was diagnosed with non–Hodgkin’s lymphoma, forcing the unfortunate–yet–necessary decision to replace him with a new actor.
After a significant amount of time off (the first season’s finale aired on April 16, 2010)—helped along by the 6–episode prequel series, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena—the actor chosen to replace Mr. Whitfield was revealed to be Liam McIntyre.
That was just the first step toward a second season of the show finally making its way to us, but production is now underway on season 2, which will be called Spartacus: Vengeance, and all signs are that it will arrive in early 2012. To hold us over, Entertainment Weekly has the first official images of McIntyre as Spartacus. You can see them below now, and share your thoughts on how the replacement looks!