Australian Actor Liam McIntire will take over as the lead in Starz’s hit drama “Spartacus.”

Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement: “Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly lead Spartacus forward, it was important to us to have Andy endorse the idea of recasting this part, which he did in the same heroic manner that he’s dealt with his whole ordeal. And that, coupled with our fortune in finding a young actor with the gladiator credentials and the acting ability of Liam, makes it easier for us to keep this hit franchise going.”

McIntire replaces Andy Whitfield, who dropped out of the series to continue his treatment for cancer after the first season.

“Spartacus” will return with a prequel next week with “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.” The second season of the series, now starring McIntire, will premiere next year.

McIntire’s most high profile gig to date seems to be last year’s miniseries “The Pacific,” where McIntire is credited as “Lew.”

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Jason Woods is a Blast staff writer

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