Filming of cable network Starz's Spartacus: Blood and Sand season two has been delayed, but producers are rolling out a six-episode prequel to be broadcast in January that includes a new gay character.

Forty-one-year-old Australian actor and dancer Josef Brown has been cast to the play Auctus, gay entertainment website reported.

Auctus is involved with gay gladiator Barca (played by Antonio Te Maioha) in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Barca's lover Pietros dies in season one of Blood and Sand.

Executive Producer Steven S. DeKinght said Auctus is “just as good a gladiator as Barca is and just as deadly.”

“They obviously love each other, and they have some great moments together, but they also have a very jocular love affair. They don't mind smacking each other around,” he added.

Brown's lean 6-foot-1 frame, dark eyes and rugged good looks won over audiences around the globe as the hunky star of the stage production of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage.

Filming of season two of Blood and Sand has been put on hold while its star Andy Whitfield undergoes treatment for early-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma.