Canadian actor Stephen Amell, British actor Aiden Turner and Australian actor Liam McIntyre have emerged as the three main candidates to replace outgoing leading man Andy Whitfield in Starz' "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" series reports Deadline.
Whitfield had to drop out of the ancient Roman gladiator-themed cable series in order to receive further treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma which it was previously announced that he had managed to recover from.
Starz apparently had been heavily weighing up its options and ultimately have decided to recast the role for the second season. Last month "Prison Break" star Wentworh Miller apparently expressed interest, however that deal never seemed to materialise.
All three candidates are being flown to New Zealand for screen tests and to meet with the show's cast and crew with the final decision expected as early as the end of this week.
29-year-old Amell has mostly popped up in guest star slots on shows like "Queer as Folk," "CSI Miami," "NCIS: Los Angeles," "Dante's Cove" and "Heartland" along with films like "Closing the Ring," "The Cutting Edge: Fire & Ice," "Screamers: The Hunting" and "The Tracey Fragments".
33-year-old Turner got his start on MTV's "Undressed" and long-running Brit soap "Eastenders", but is best known for playing the role of Aiden Devane on ABC soap "All My Children" for seven years (2002-2009).
28-year-old McIntyre is a relatively new talent who has starred in numerous short films and guest starred on such shows as "Rush," "Neighbours" and "The Pacific".
"Spartacus: Gods of the Arena", a six-episode prequel to the series starring Australian hunk Dustin Clare in the lead role of Gannicus, begins airing on the network in January.