“Marco!” “Polo!” Starz has announced a new original series about the European explorer during his younger years in China. There, under the rule or Kublai Khan, he serves as ambassador and spy to the administration. The series, appropriately called “Marco Polo,” will focus on Polo’s explorations during this time period with an emphasis on martial-arts. “Marco Polo” is written and created by John Fusco (Hidalgo, Young Guns) and will be executive produced by The Weinstein Company, Electus, as well as Fusco. Production is expected to start next near. Other “Marco Polo” mini-series have been produced including an NBC/Italian production that ran in 1982, and a Hallmark production that ran in 2007.
“Marco Polo” is written and created by John Fusco (Hidalgo, Young Guns, Thunderheart, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron – Academy Award® nomination for Best Screenplay). It will be executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein (The Weinstein Company); Ben Silverman (Electus), as well as Fusco.
“Marco Polo” is Fusco’s fantastical martial arts epic, chronicling the famous adventurer’s early years in the court of Kublai Khan. Acting as the ruler’s spy, ambassador and explorer, Marco treks across the Far East and returns with tales of his journeys. In a court filled with political betrayal and forbidden relationships, Marco must use his martial arts training to survive, but it is his ability to enchant Khan with imaginative tales of his kingdom that is often his best tool to stay alive.
Starz Entertainment will own the exclusive license to the domestic premium pay TV rights and certain digital rights to the series for its flagship STARZ network, while Starz’s Anchor Bay arm will distribute the property in the United States in home video. The Weinstein Company and Electus’ global distribution arm Electus International control all remaining rights.
Albrecht commented on the latest addition to the Starz Original series lineup that “Marco Polo has captivated imaginations for centuries, and John’s script brings this fantastical story to life. In addition to a remarkable story, we share a joint creative vision with our partners at The Weinstein Company and Electus to deliver a larger than life cinematic adventure for audiences in the United States and around the world.”
“The stories and adventures of Marco Polo are timeless and we couldn’t be more excited to work with Starz and Electus on this project,” said Weinstein. “We look forward to beginning production next year on what is sure to be a fascinating, martial-arts filled telling of one of history’s greatest explorers.”
“We are thrilled to be able to work with an exceptional creative team to tell this amazing story in an updated and unique way,” said Ben Silverman, Chairman and Founder of Electus. “Starz has been a tremendous partner in allowing us maximum creative freedom to bring audiences a fresh perspective on history and John Fusco, who lives and breathes this material, is uniquely qualified to bring this story to life.”
Weinstein originally developed the idea and brought John Fusco on to write the script. It was then brought to Electus and together they delivered the project to Starz. John Fusco is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content.