The Weinstein Company announced today that production is underway on Marco Polo," a Netflix original series based on the epic adventures of Marco Polo. Shoot locations for the ten episode Season 1 include Italy, Kazakhstan and the new Pinewood Studios in Malaysia. Netflix plans to premiere the series in late 2014.
The famed explorer's journey takes him to the center of a brutal war in 13th century China, a world replete with exotic martial arts, political skullduggery, spectacular battles and sexual intrigue. The global cast includes Lorenzo Richelmy (Il Terzo Tempo) as Marco Polo, Benedict Wong (Prometheus), Zhu Zhu (Cloud Atlas), Tom Wu (Skyfall), Remy Hii (Treading Water) and Rick Yune (Olympus Has Fallen, The Fast and the Furious).
Creator John Fusco (Forbidden Kingdom, Young Guns, Hidalgo) and Harvey Weinstein will serve as executive producers. Daniel Minahan (Game of Thrones, True Blood) will also serve as executive producer and will direct two episodes. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Academy Award nominated Kon-Tiki, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) will direct the season's first two episodes. Patrick Macmanus will serve as co-executive producer. Collin Creighton will produce on behalf of The Weinstein Company.
Here's what Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, had to say in a statement.
""Television audiences today are more discerning than ever before both in terms of character and the scope of the worlds those characters live in. We are proud to present a series that rivals some of the most successful films we''ve ever made. Marco Polo is a figure all have heard of, but few truly know, and we are excited to introduce him to the world. And we are shooting all over the world. From the sweeping vistas of Kazakhstan which act as backdrop for the wars and conquests of Kublai Khan to the intimate moments within the alleys and canals of Marco's hometown of Venice, Italy, this is spectacle in the truest sense of the word."
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos had this to say in his statement.
"John, Dan, Joachim Rønning, Espen and our partners at The Weinstein Company are elevating the art of storytelling and delivering cinematic quality that we're certain our members will enjoy. "In this commanding, epic story of Marco Polo, through the magnetic cast they''ve assembled, the spectacular martial arts work they are showcasing and the exotic locations that serve as a backdrop, they have really outdone themselves."