New pictures from “Spartacus” heavy on beefcake. And show definitely has gay characters.

At Wednesday’s Television Critics Association panel for the upcoming Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand starring Andy Whitfield and Lucy Lawless, the producers not only released new images from the series (that are very heavy on the beefcake), they also said the show would feature as much male nudity as female nudity, a definite switch for a genre normally aimed at straight men in their 20s.

Andy Whitfield as Spartacus

Indeed, series creator and executive producer Rob Tapert let slip that with so much male nudity, some of the male actors were self-conscious about being less well-endowed than some of their co-stars. Said Tapert:

There’s a great deal of
nudity, both male and female. And some guys are not as
well-endowed as other guys, so we had to create the Kirk
Douglas, as it was aptly named, so that certain actors
would have a prosthetic that they could wear and feel
comfortable. Someone lovingly called it the Kirk Douglas,
and the name stuck.

Of course, our interest in the show extends beyond mere beefcake. Though usually ignored by Hollywood, Roman culture was well-known for having same-sex relationships, and after the panel, I spoke with Spartacus’ executive producer Steven S. DeKnight who said the series was definitely going to include multiple male same-sex relationships.

When DeKnight and I last spoke in January, no scenes had yet been filmed so it’s especially gratifying he has followed through on his promise to be so inclusive. In fact, DeKnight said that one of those same-sex male pairs would be the healthiest relationship on the show.

DeKnight told me off-the-record who the major "gay" character would be (Romans didn’t really think in terms of gay and straight in the modern sense), but as I’ve no desire to be fed to the lions, I won’t be divulging that info here. I’ll have more about the show, and it’s very inclusive same-sex content, including interviews with DeKnight as well as Lucy Lawless, closer to the show’s debut in January.

So for now you’ll have to content yourself with these new promotional stills from the show! 

Lucy Lawless (center) as Lucretia