In a salute to Kirk Douglas, who first brought Spartacus to life in 1960, Liam McIntyre, of the STARZ Original Series “Spartacus: Vengeance” and its creator and producer Steven S. DeKnight will join the iconic star at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Goldenson Theater on Thursday, May 31st to discuss the cultural impact of “Spartacus” then and now. The evening will celebrate the publication of his 10th book, “I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist” which will be available as an eBook and in a paperback edition on June 12th from Open Road Media.
“I am happy that Spartacus continues to live in the Starz series, but why didn’t they ask me to play him?” Kirk Douglas says. “I made a film about freedom at a time when freedom was in jeopardy and a blacklist had been in effect in Hollywood for more than a decade. There are parallels in today’s political climate, which is why a hero like Spartacus still resonates, I believe. Also, it helps to look good in a loincloth!”
The overarching themes of “Spartacus” are certainly familiar to those who watch the Starz original series, but Steven S. DeKnight has created an entirely new vision, and McIntyre a new interpretation in bringing the legendary warrior to life. Based in both historical fact, as well as fiction, DeKnight and McIntyre will speak about the process and pressure of bringing an iconic character to the screen, the advantage of being able to tell that story on premium television, and the acclaimed production elements that give the show a distinctive look.
“Spartacus has a legacy like few other men,” notes McIntyre. “He has inspired millions of people, and entire social movements. It is my immeasurable honor to discuss such an iconic character with Mr. Douglas and Steven S. DeKnight, who have both breathed new life into this legend in exciting and ground breaking ways.”
“I’m unbelievably humbled,” says DeKnight, “not only to have the opportunity to sit down with a Hollywood legend that has inspired me and countless others, but also to discuss how the story of Spartacus has resonated for thousands of years throughout the world.”
“Spartacus” as damned by the Legion of Decency and members of the press, particularly influential columnist Hedda Hopper, called for a boycott because Douglas had given screen credit to blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, who had written many award-winning films including Roman Holiday under pseudonyms. The public came anyway, including President John F. Kennedy who went to see it on February 21, 1961 at the Warner Theater in Washington and declared it a “fine film.”
“Spartacus: Vengeance” recently completed a record-breaking year on STARZ and features McIntyre, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare and Lucy Lawless. Previous seasons, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”, and prequel, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” have been airing in more than 150 countries.