Netflix has reportedly inked a deal to bring the adventures of Marco Polo to television, acquiring the rights after its former home, Starz, canceled plans to produce the project. The series was originally developed by the Weinstein Company and Electus, reports TV Guide, and both Bob and Harvey Weinstein, along with Electus’ Ben Silverman are executive producers. John Fusco (Hidalgo) and Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy) are onboard as writer and showrunner, respectively, and will be co-executive producing as well.
The plot is said to follow the famous explorer’s adventures in China during an epic 13th century war between empires. According to TV Guide, Starz had planned to film the project in China, but costs were prohibitively high, and Netflix is instead opting to film elsewhere. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as a "cinematic adventure of high politics, masterful manipulation, and deadly warfare," but points out that the project may take the form of a single film rather than the planned nine-part series. The deal is just the latest example of Netflix’s sustained push into original programming after scoring multiple Emmy nominations for House of Cards and Arrested Development. Its latest series, Orange is the New Black, premiered last month.