Kirk Douglas’ long-awaited memoir ‘I Am Spartacus’ will be released on June 12th by Open Road Media (openroadmedia.com/kirkdouglas for full details), and on Thursday, May 31st, Douglas himself will be the star of a discussion on the cultural impact of of “Spartacus” then and now. 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.
“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!”
“Spartacus has a legacy like few other men,” said 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.”
On that, here are clips of two of the modern examples of the Spartacus movie legend, Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: Blood and Sand:
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.”
Starz reports that 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 aired in more than 150 countries.