Starz is gearing up for some swords-and-sandals action for its next series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Starz has given the green light for its new series, Spartacus.

Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Joshua Donen will develop the series and serve as executive producer while Steven S. DeKnight has been come aboard as head writer and showrunner. The series will be based on the real-life adventures of the slave-turned-revolutionary who changed the face of the Roman Republic in 73 B.C. However, it won't take a page from an existing film.

"This is not going to be at all like the 1960s Kirk Douglas film," said Stephen Shelanski, Starz' executive vp programming. "We didn't want your typical sword-and-sandals. It's going to be fun, fast-moving, full of action and interesting characters and have a little more depth to it than the 1960s film."

It was also said that the story will be reimagined and stylized to match the look and feel of graphic novel films such as 300 and Sin City. It was also said that this will be one of the first TV series to use nearly 100% virtual environments with actors working against virtual sets.

The series will commence production early next year in New Zealand, with a premiere date slated for next summer.