Marco? Polo!

Marco Polo on Netflix

On Friday, December 12th, Netflix, the massive internet streamer and studio behind television shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black will release their latest original program, the highly anticipated, Marco Polo. The show, billed as an epic in the vein of Game of Thrones and Starz’s Black Sails, follows the titular character, played by newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy, and his adventures in Kublai Khan’s court in 13th century China. The idea for the show came from series creator and co-showrunner, John Fusco (Hidalgo, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron), who has been inspired by the legendary Polo since he was a child. Learn more about that from John and series co-showrunner, Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones) here:

Fusco then took his idea for a Marco Polo television series to legendary producer, Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein and his company, The Weinstein Company, set the show up at Starz, where it was to be a part of their new rollout of high quality original content to combat the likes of HBO and Showtime. But when things fell through, the rights reverted back to The Weinstein Company, who, rather than giving up on the project entirely, brought it out of turnaround to Netflix, a decision which has proven not only to be good business, but also a positive influence on the creative process. Learn more about that here:

The show is a sprawling epic, traversing several countries and boasting a large international cast comprised mostly of newcomers. At the forefront of the show, playing Marco Polo is Lorenzo Richelmy, an Italian actor whose previous work resides almost exclusively in his home country and who was cast via a homemade audition tape that made its way to the producers. Starring alongside Richelmy, is Benedict Wong (Prometheus), perhaps the show’s most experienced Hollywood actor, playing the role of the menacing Kublai Khan. In addition to Wong in Richelmy is another newcomer, Zhu Zhu (Cloud Atlas) as Marco and Kublai’s love interest, Kokachin. Listen to how the cast got involved with the project here:

Marco Polo premieres on Netflix, Friday, December 12th. Catch the official Netflix trailer below: