By Sahil Patel
Production is underway on “Marco Polo,” an upcoming Netflix original series based on the adventures of the titular explorer.
Produced by The Weinstein Company and Electus, “Marco Polo” will arrive on Netflix in late 2014 with 10 hour-long episodes. As with most other originals, the series will be available to subscribers in all Netflix territories.
It’s an international shoot for the show, which focuses on Marco Polo’s journey to the center of a brutal war in 13th century China. Shooting locations include Italy, Kazakhstan, and the new Pinewood Studios in Malaysia.
“We are proud to present a series that rivals some of the most successful films we’ve ever made,” said Harvey Weinstein, show executive producer and co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, in a statement. “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.”
The cast is headlined by Lorenzo Richelmy (“Il Terzo Tempo”) as Polo, joined by cast members Benedict Wong (“Prometheus”), Zhu Zhu (“Cloud Atlas”), Tom Wu (“Skyfall”), Remy Hii (“Treading Water”), and Rick Yune (“Olympus Has Fallen”).
The first two episodes will be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, the duo behind the Oscar-nominated “Kon-Tiki” and the upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” have been brought on board to direct the season’s first two episodes. Executive producer Dan Minahan, who’s directed episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood,” will also direct two episodes.
Series creator John Fusco (“Hidalgo”) is executive producing alongside Harvey Weinstein. Patrick MacManus is co-executive producing with Colin Creighton producing on behalf of The Weinstein Company. Electus, which also serves as executive producer, is handling international distribution for the program. The company is currently at MIPTV selling the show.
This post has been amended to include Electus’ role as executive producer and international distributor of “Marco Polo.”