Long before Outlander and the various Power shows were airing, the jewel of Starz’s eyes was arguably Spartacus, with the original series, plus the prequel miniseries Gods of the Arena, airing from 2010 to 2013. Now the premium cable network has announced that it’s delving back into the franchise for a new series, and it will feature a surprising character as its lead protagonist: Nick Tarabay’s Ashur.
Starz has officially given a 10-episode order to Spartacus: House of Ashur, which will point the spotlight back on Tarabay’s character following his time as one of the main villains in the original Spartacus’ first two seasons, plus Gods of the Arena. Now, fans of the show will remember that Ashur died at the end of Season 2, a.k.a. Vengeance, but House of Ashur isn’t magically resurrecting him. Rather, the new show will explore an alternate history where Ashur not only didn’t die on Mount Vesuvius, but also, as stated in the announcement, he was also “gifted the gladiator school once owned by Batiatus in return for aiding the Romans in killing Spartacus and putting an end to the slave rebellion.”
Along with Tarabay reprising this role, House of Ashur sees Spartacus creator Steven DeKnight resuming his showrunner and executive producer duties. DeKnight clarified on X that this show is the same Spartacus project that was reported to be in the works earlier this year, and also said the following about his involvement in the announcement:
To be afforded the opportunity to return a decade later to a series you loved is such a rare, wonderful opportunity. I could not be more excited to craft this next chapter in the Spartacus saga with STARZ, Lionsgate, and the incomparable Nick Tarabay.
In the years since Spartacus concluded, Nick Tarabay has played notable TV roles like Digger Harkness/Captain Boomerang in Arrow, Eclipso in Stargirl, Devon Grice in Person of Interest and Cotyar Ghazi in The Expanse. Additionally, he teamed back up with Steven DeKnight on the 2018 movie Pacific Rim: Uprising, which the latter both directed and wrote. TV-wise, DeKnight kept busy in the last decade with Daredevil Season 1 and the short-lived Jupiter’s Legacy, both of which were exclusive to Netflix subscribers (although the former can now be streamed with a Disney+ subscription).
If you’re having trouble wrapping with Spartacus: House of Ashur’s alternate history premise, think of it as a ‘what if’ story, akin to what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been doing with its animated What If… ? series. None of the events that unfold in House of Ashur will be canon to the main Spartacus continuity, but rather take place on a branched timeline free from the restrictions of events that happened post-original Ashur’s death. What’s unclear, though, is if House of Ashur is intended to be a one-and-done offering, or if it could end up running multiple seasons like Spartacus did.
In any case, CinemaBlend will keep you apprised on more details on what Spartacus: House of Ashur holds in store, as well as when it will premiere. For now, you can keep track of scheduled small screen entertainment with our 2023 TV schedule and 2024 TV schedule.