By James Hibberd
Updated July 14, 2012 at 01:37 PM EDT
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How will Starz’ Spartacus conclude?

Well it won’t end with the most famous line associated with the Hollywood adaptions of the classic story — the captured slave warriors declaring “I’m Spartacus!” to the Romans rather than sell out their leader. At Comic-Con Friday, Spartacus creator Steven S. DeKnight said the Starz version will differ from Stanley Kubrick’s classic big-screen take, noting that the show already slightly referenced the “I’m Spartacus” line in the first season.

“Not like it was in the movie — we played with that in season one,” he said. “So it won’t be like it was in the movie [but] we might tip our hat to it.”

Historical spoiler alert: The real Spartacus supposedly died on the battlefield, which is different than Kubrick’s version anyway.

DeKnight said he’s very much aware of the importance of crafting a satisfying ending for the show, noting, “If you don’t stick the landing, people can look back and say, ‘Oh, what they did wasn’t really that good.'”

The writer-producer says he’s not closed to the idea of a spin-off or movie, and the cast joked around about possible ideas — “The Lugo Years” or “The Pits.” Looking back, DeKnight says one of his favorite scenes in the series, and the one he still gets the most complaints about from fans, was the death of Varo.

At one point during the panel, the crowd gave a standing ovation in honor of former Spartacus star Andy Whitfield, who died from cancer last year. The previous night at a cast dinner, co-star Manu Bennett wore a T-shirt with the legend “Be Here Now” in honor of Whitfield, who got a tattoo with the in-the-moment slogan. A documentary about Whitfield’s cancer fight with the same title will be released next year.

Here’s the teaser trailer: