Adventure awaits Netflix subscribers! Rest assured, you don’t have to get off the couch for this kind of adventure. Netflix announced today that they’re moving forward with an original series based on the epic adventures of Marco Polo. Their plan is to get this exciting sounding series on the air by late 2014.
Produced by the Weinstein Company from Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, the Marco Polo series will tell “a kinetic tale of high politics, masterful manipulation and deadly warfare among clashing empires.” Here’s the synopsis Netflix included in their announcement:
The famed explorer's journey takes him to the center of a brutal war in 13th century China, a world replete with astonishing martial arts, sexual intrigue, political skullduggery and spectacular battles and comes from directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki, Max Manus: Man of War), executive producer and director Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones, True Blood) and executive producer and creator John Fusco (Young Guns, Hidalgo).
Netflix’s Ted Sarandos goes on to describe the project as a “timeless tale of power, adventure, betrayal and lust that combines deft storytelling and cinematic ambition.” He throws in the words “quality” and “gripping action-adventure” when expressing his enthusiasm for adding this project to the Netflix original slate.
This untitled Marco Polo series will premiere exclusively for Netflix members to watch instantly in all Netflix territories later this year. That seems like a speedy turnaround for such an ambitious sounding project that’s only just being announced, doesn’t it? As THR points out that this drama, created by John Fursco, was actually being developed for Starz originally. Given that the premium cable channel’s becoming known for its period pieces -- see Spartacus, Da Vinci’s Demons and the upcoming Outlander adaptation for some examples -- that makes sense. And as it happens, it was almost two years ago to the day that we shared news that Starz was moving forward with that project. So it seems this project has been in the works for a while now, only it ended up at Netflix, giving the streaming video service an adventure drama to call its own.
Netflix seems determined to offer original series that suit all tastes, as each project they add to their roster is nothing like the others. For fans of suspenseful political dramas, they have House of Cards. Those who like crime with a little bit of comedy can watch Lilyhammer. For the straight-up comedy fans, there’s Arrested Development. Want something a bit more female skewed? Try Orange is the New Black. And if it’s fangs and supernatural thrills you crave, go with Hemlock Grove. The Marco Polo series sounds like it’ll scratch the action-adventure itch and also check “period piece” off Netflix’s list as well.