It is with a truly heavy heart that I return from my vacation to break some sad news. Andy Whitfield, star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand has been re-diagnosed with cancer. Mr. Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma this past March and it was announced earlier this summer that his cancer had gone into remission. However, it seems that the cancer has returned and that our beloved Bringer of Rain is departing from the program to undergo more serious treatment and to focus on his health.
Andy released this statement to People Magazine:
“It’s with a deep sense of disappointment that I must step aside from such an exceptional project as Spartacus and all the wonderful people involved. It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey.”
Starz has said it does not have any immediate plans for the future of the series, but extends their support to Andy and his family. Word is that the Spartacus prequel Spartacus: Gods of the Arena will be coming out January 2011 and will follow the gladiators of the House of Batiatus before the arrival of Spartacus. Read more here.
I would like to personally send my support and love to Andy and his family at this time and I know that with our thoughts and prayers it won’t be long till the Slayer of the Shadow of Death is back to kicking serious ass. Get better, Andy.