Today at press tour, Starz played a trailer of its Roman drama Spartacus, debuting in January 2010. It’s similar to the one below, except that ours had more nudity. This job still has its benefits:
So: lots of slow-motion blood. Lots of skin. Lots of stylized violence. It’s 300, the series! Will there also be acting and narrative? We don’t know yet! But you don’t want to know that. You want to know whether Lucy Lawless gets naked in it!
The panel, including Lawless and co-executive producer Sam Raimi, discussed the Roman-slave action story’s style and substance, especially its style. Among the highlights:
* Did I mention the nudity? There’s a lot—they promise the show will be boundary-pushing, even for pay cable—and a lot of is full frontal. To assist the male actors, of, ahem, varying physical gifts, they employed a prosthetic, which they nicknamed “the Kirk Douglas,” for the star of the Stanley Kubrick Spartacus movie. According to Lawless, “that thing gets shared around.” For professional reasons, I’m sure.
* Did I mention the nudity? One critic, speaking for Xena fans everywhere, asked: “Miss Lucy, will you be naked?” Her answer: “I’m afraid so.” But then she qualified that, so far, she hasn’t gone totally buff. Someone throw a glass of cold water on the fanboys.
* Did I mention the story and dialogue? Not really, because you don’t get much in that trailer. We see lots of stylized violence (co-producer Rob Tapert cites John Woo as an influence), but that’s it. The producers said that there would be a great deal of attention to character and the late-Roman Republic society, a la HBO’s Rome. Of course, that’s what you’re going to tell a room full of critics.
That said, the visuals are definitely painterly and impressive. If they managed to put a well-written and acted story on top of them, this could be something. In the meantime, did I mention the nudity?