Bolstered by the resounding success of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix are powering onwards with their catalogue of original content, announcing a Weinstein Company production based on real-life merchant traveller Marco Polo.
The epic adventures of the famed explorer will be helmed by directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg – Oscar-winners in 2012 for best foreign film, Kon-Tiki.
According to the online streaming service, the nine-part series promises a 13th century journey to China, “a world replete with astonishing martial arts, sexual intrigue, political skulduggery and spectacular battles”. Originally picked up by US network Starz, Marco Polo was released back to The Weinstein Company after plans to film in China fell through and will now drop across all Netflix territories in late 2014.
Shooting soon at the new Pinewood Studios in Malaysia, details of the “global cast” are still being kept under wraps, although Game of Thrones’ Dan Minahan will direct alongside Ronning and Sandberg as well as executive producing with creator John Fusco (Young Guns, Hidalgo).
“John Fusco and his team have created a timeless tale of power, adventure, betrayal and lust that combines deft storytelling and cinematic ambition,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer.
“It is a fantastic addition to our slate of original series, both because of its quality and because it is the kind of gripping action-adventure that Netflix members love.”
Weinstein Company co-chairman Harvey Weinstein added “With the glowing success of series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, it’s clear that Netflix is breaking tremendous ground in the realm of streaming original content. We could not be more excited to partner with them on this project, along with the creative tour de force of John Fusco and his talented team.”