New series Da Vinci’s Demons announced by BBC Worldwide and Starz

Torchwood bosses will oversee new "dark and irreverent" fantasy drama about the Renaissance polymath

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Fresh from the success of Torchwood: Miracle Day, BBC Worldwide and US cable channel Starz have joined forces again to produce a new fantasy drama called Da Vinci’s Demons.

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The eight-episode series will be scripted by Man of Steel screenwriter David Goyer, whose previous credits include co-writing Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Set in the 15th century, Da Vinci’s Demons will chart the “untold” history of the young Italian’s early life as a free thinker living in Renaissance France and struggling against the intellectual confines of his time.

“Da Vinci was the original Renaissance man – a near-mythic figure that has worldwide appeal. After working with characters like Batman and Superman, it made a strange kind of sense for me to dive into the facts and legends swirling around his origins,” said Goyer.

The writer added that the show will be “as dark and challenging and irreverent as it deserves to be”.

Production on the series is expected to start early next year and the programme will premiere on Starz in 2013.

“David has re-imagined some of the most iconic superheroes of all time, and is again building an extraordinary prism through which to rediscover the world’s greatest genius and most mysterious man,” said Starz media managing director Carmi Zlotnick.

“This is a story we believe will captivate the imaginations of audiences around the world and is the first of what we expect to be many productions with our talented partners at BBC Worldwide Productions.”

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Torchwood producers Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner will oversee the new series as executive producers.