Interview: Manu Bennett On ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’, Andy Whitfield and More


The final season of Spartacus: War of the Damned begins January 25th on Starz.  That’s tonight! We left off last season with Spartacus and his merry band of rebels facing the full might of the Roman legion, which are not against pulling shenanigans.

I was more than happy to sit down with Manu Bennett, who plays the undefeated Gaul and Spartacus BFF, Crixus.  Manu was passionate, assured, and especially candid as he spoke about his former co-star Andy Whitfield and what awaits Crixus in the new season. Generous to a fault, he also shared some spoils of war. (Note: This interview contains spoilers.)

The Flickcast: “Be Here Now” is emblazoned on your shirt.  Can you talk about why the phrase “Be Here Now” is important to you?

Manu Bennett: “Be Here Now” was a tattoo Andy [Whitfield] had on his forearm when he was going through his cancer treatment.  There’s a documentary that’s going to be coming out soon.

Rather than not being in the know about what happened to Andy, this documentary is for people who are really interested in the show and really fell in love with Andy and I know there’s so many people out there who did. I’m sure Andy would have liked everyone to go and watch this documentary to see what cancer can destroy in this life.

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Behind the Scene: The ‘Surprise’ Trailer for ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’

$500,000,000 in 24 hours. That is just a sickeningly absurd number. That means that on launch day, Call of Duty: Black Ops II not only shattered sales records but it was making more than $5,000 PER SECOND in its first twenty four hours on sale. To say people still want more Call of Duty in their lives would be an understatement. So, Activision has decided to give them more with the Behind the Scenes trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s “Surprise” trailer.

The internet celebrity filled trailer (which also included geek hero, Iron Man himself Robert Downey Jr.) was directed by Guy Ritchie. In the trailer below, Guy talks about how he only directs one commercial a year. He chose to do Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s commercial because of its technical challenges along with the fact that his son thinks it’s cool. He actually goes as far as saying he’d probably do this job for nothing because it is actually that interesting to do.

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New ‘LEGO The Lord of the Rings’ Trailer Talks About Moving Forward

One aspect of LEGO games that has always stood out was the central hub location where players would go in and out of missions. Originally, this was a small location of only a few rooms that chapters could be explored by entering. This was the primary setup for LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Indiana Jones. More recently, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes changed this format with an open world Gotham for players to traverse and go into story missions when they saw fit. Now, Traveler’s Tales needs to switch up for the format again for LEGO The Lord of the Rings.

While it made sense in LEGO Batman’s world for the caped crusader to be able to travel around Gotham at his whim, that just isn’t the case with the tighter narrative that needs to be told during The Lord of the Rings. Even in LEGO format, The Lord of the Rings needs to have a clear beginning and ending location that players can’t just skip to. As anyone who has watched, or especially read The Lord of the Rings, it isn’t the destination that mattered to the story as much as it was the journey that got the heroes there.

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Check Out a Behind the Scenes Look at ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’

It has been a long, and let’s face it, bloody road for Spartacus but the end is near. The final installment of the Starz original series about the gladiator turned freedom fighter and his band of bulky buddies will premiere this January. By the looks of the behind-the-scenes trailer, things will end pretty much the way they started: with blood, guts, and shirtless men.

Returning to the series once again are Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Manu Bennett (Crixus), Dustin Clare (Gannicus), Dan Feuerriegel (Agron), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Naevia) and Ellen Hollman (Saxa). There are some new faces too with Todd Lasance as Gaius Julius Caesar,  Simon Merrells as (Marcus Crassus and Anna Hutchison as Laeta.

Spartacus: War of the Damned picks up after the defeat of the Roman commander Gaius Caludius Glaber. With several major victories against Rome under his belt, Spartacus is gaining more support for the rebels but more attention from the Romans. Will they find a way to crush the rising hero? Tune in to Starz in January 2013 to find out.

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E3 2012: ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’ Behind the Scenes Preview

Horses. Zombies. Drones. Walking tanks. What’s left really to say about Call of Duty: Black Ops II at this point? Microsoft knows how valuable a franchise it is. That’s why they dedicated the final section of their E3 Press Conference to an extended gameplay demo. But is it too much of a good thing? Obviously Activision and the gaming masses don’t think so.

As you will see in the Behind the Scenes preview below which was created for E3, Call of Duty: Black Ops II doesn’t want to just look and feel like any other sequel in the Call of Duty franchise. Players will be given new weapons and techniques in order to be given new experiences, instead of just shooting their way through levels in the same way they have for the better part of the past decade.

Treyarch knows the pressure they are under to deliver something new and is intent on doing so both in terms of gameplay and graphics. They give special emphasis on lighting as the final layer of graphical polish to make the game look as good as possible.

In the trailer, there is no mention of new details in the game’s multiplayer and only a very brief detail about the size of the Zombie mode which is intended to give players more options than ever before in it.

Take a peek at the full behind the scenes look at Call of Duty: Black Ops II which is coming out for every major platform and has the potential to again be the highest selling game of the year.

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