Netflix sets sail with Marco Polo original series

Netflix Building41-620x413Netflix has ordered a new original series, based on the adventures of Marco Polo, to bow in all Netflix territories in late 2014.

The series was originally developed at Starz, with the project ordered straight to series in January 2012, but production complications in China put paid to Starz’ involvement with the project.

Starz released the rights back to producers Electus, which is no longer attached, and The Weinstein Company, which was reported to be considering the VOD or feature film route for the project before securing a deal with Netflix.

Produced by TWC, the nine-episode series will soon begin shooting in Pinewood studios, Malaysia and will be executive produced by Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones, True Blood) and creator John Fusco (Young Guns, Hidalgo). Minahan will also direct, along with Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg.

The announcement comes swiftly after the news that another Netflix original series, Lillyhammer, will return for a third run.

Other original series from the VOD service include Hemlock Grove, Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, which won a Golden Globe for star Robin Wright this week.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer said: “John Fusco and his team have created a timeless tale of power, adventure, betrayal and lust that combines deft storytelling and cinematic ambition.

“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.”

TWC 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.”

Future series planned by Netflix include four based on Marvel Studios superheroes including Daredevil, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has spoken of plans to double the company’s original series slate in 2014.