EXCLUSIVE: Starz has given a straight-to-series order to Da Vinci’s Demons, an adventure series from The Dark Knight/Man Of Steel co-writer David S. Goyer and BBC Worldwide Prods. Da Vinci’s Demons has received an eight-episode order and is slated to start filming in early 2012 for a 2013 premiere. This is the first project to enter production under the multi-year agreement Starz signed with BBC Worldwide Prods. in August.
Written by Goyer, Da Vinci’s Demons is described as a historical fantasy that follows the “untold” story of the world’s greatest genius during his raucous youth in Renaissance Florence. Brash and brilliant, the 25-year-old da Vinci is an artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist. As a free thinker, with intellect and talents that are almost superhuman, he struggles to live within the confines of his own reality and time. He begins to not only see the future, but invent it. “Da Vinci was the original Renaissance man — a near-mythic figure that has world-wide appeal,” Goyer said. “This will be a show about secret histories, genius, madness, and all things profane. And I’m particularly excited that I get to do it on premium cable, where the story can be as dark and challenging and irreverent as it deserves to be.”
Goyer will serve as showrunner on the series, executive producing alongside Julie Gardner and BBC Worldwide Prods. head Jane Tranter. “David has reimagined some of the most iconic superheroes of all time, and is again building an extraordinary prism through which to rediscover the world’s greatest genius and most mysterious man,” Starz Media Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik said. “If modern day has Tony Stark, the Renaissance had da Vinci.” Da Vinci’s Demons started heating up in late August when produces began sending out feelers to writers about potential staffing jobs. That has now turned to firm staffing offers.
BBC Worldwide will distribute the series internationally. The company is deficit financing the shows under the deal with Starz, primarily from international sales, so the series are developed with the global marketplace in mind. Da Vinci’s Demons fits that bill with a protagonist who is one of the most recognizable figures in world’s art and science history. What’s more, “the young life of this incredibly complex and brilliant man has not yet been explored,” Tranter said. Da Vinci’s Demons is the latest straight-to-series project to join Starz’s lineup that includes new drama Boss starring Kelsey Grammer, which premiered on Friday; Spartacus: Vengeance, which returns in January 2012; and the upcoming period drama Magic City, which debuts in April. CAA reps Goyer and BBC Worldwide Prods.