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article imageMarco Polo: the next major TV series?

By Tim Sandle     Jan 15, 2012 in Entertainment
A major ten-part drama series about the legendary exploits of Marco Polo is in development and will be shown on the TV channel Starz.
Deadline Hollywood has broken the news that a new drama series about the life of the explorer Marco Polo is in development. The series has been devised by John Fusco (whose previous credits included "Hidalgo" and "The Forbidden Kingdom").
The TV series will have a different take from the more previously prosaic movie adaptations about Marco Polo, with the new series being scripted as "a fantastical martial arts epic", with an touch of political intrigue and romantic entanglements. The series chronicles the court of Kublai Khan.
The real-life Marco Polo was an Italian adventurer, famous for his travels through Asia and he was one of the first Europeans to travel into Mongolia and China. Polo became a member of the court of the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan. After around 25 years of travel, Polo became a storyteller and when imprisoned during the war between Venice and Genoa he wrote what became "The Travels of Marco Polo", a book which apparently inspired Columbus to begin his explorations.
The series is produced and backed up Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Ben Silverman and will be shown on the premium pay TV channel Starz (with home video rights picked up by Anchor Bay). This follows other big productions on the channel, such as this summer's "Dr Who" spin-off "Torchwood", and the historical drama "Spartacus".
The head Starz Entertainment, Chris Albrecht is quoted on the Hollywood Reporter as saying: “Marco Polo has captivated imaginations for centuries, and John’s script brings this fantastical story to life".
Harvey Weinstein is reported by Screen Rant as saying: “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. 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.”
Purists may consider that another historical figure has been transformed for entertainment value with several leeway's made with historical events, echoing the trend seen recently with "Spartacus", "Camelot" and "The Borgias", whereas others will enjoy the dramatisation. The key issue is whether it will prove to be a 2013 ratings hit?
More about Marco Polo, Starz, Tv series, TV drama, John Fusco
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