Netflix Sets Sail For Marco Polo Series, To Debut Late This Year


The good news just keeps coming for streaming giant Netflix. Hot on the heels of Sunday’s Golden Globes, which saw Robin Wright take home as a statuette for her lead role as scheming politician’s wife Claire Underwood in the online streaming service’s original series House of Cards, it has been announced that Netflix will expand its already-growing original programming slate with Marco Polo, a series based around the famed explorer.

The series, which Netflix calls “a kinetic tale of high politics, masterful manipulation, and deadly warfare among clashing empires,” will debut at some point in the fourth quarter of 2014. John Fusco, the writer of Hidalgo, created the show and will also serve as an executive-producer. Also on board are Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, and executive producer and director Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones). The involvement of Rønning and Sandberg is certainly a promising sign, as their last film, Kon-Tiki, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and is widely considered to be one of the best survival adventures in years.

Netflix’s series, which will be shot in Malaysia with an international cast, will apparently focus on the explorer’s early days and his involvement in the various wars of 13th-century China. The company tells us to expect “a world replete with astonishing martial arts, sexual intrigue, political skullduggery, and spectacular battles.”

The historical setting will mark a change of pace for Netflix, which typically focuses on programs with modern settings. Another fresh aspect of Marco Polo is its lack of source material; unlike House of Cards, a remake of a British series, and Orange is the New Black, based on a memoir, Marco Polo will be entirely original.

The series is currently set to run for nine episodes, in keeping with Netflix’s recent trend towards limited show runs. The company brought back FOX cult comedy Arrested Development for a limited 15-episode fourth season, has committed to ten episodes of the Wachowski’s sci-fi adventure series Sense8 and will soon revive AMC murder mystery The Killing for a six-episode final season. The streaming service also recently signed a massive deal with Marvel to bring four thirteen-episode miniseries – DaredevilJessica JonesIron Fist and Luke Cage – to subscribers, which will be followed by a culminating miniseries called The Defenders.

What do you think of Marco Polo based on initial appearances? Will this historical adventure be a good fit with Netflix? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Source: Screen Rant