Starz has greenlighted Marco Polo, a new 10-episode original scripted series about the 13th century explorer from the Weinstein Co. and Electus. Created by John Fusco (Hidalgo), Marco Polo is described as a fantastical martial arts epic chronicling the famous adventurer’s early years in the court of Kublai Khan. Acting as the ruler’s spy, ambassador and explorer, Marco treks across the Far East and returns with tales of his journeys. In a court filled with political betrayal and forbidden relationships, Marco must use his martial arts training to survive, but it is his ability to enchant Khan with imaginative tales of his kingdom that is often his best tool to stay alive. Fusco wrote the project and is executive producing with Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Ben Silverman. “Marco Polo has captivated imaginations for centuries, and John’s script brings this fantastical story to life,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said.
Starz Entertainment is receiving domestic premium pay TV rights and certain digital rights to the series for its flagship Starz network, while Starz’s Anchor Bay arm will distribute the property in the U.S. in home video. All remaining rights will be controlled by the Weinstein Co. and Electus’ global distribution arm Electus International. For Albrecht, this marks a return to his early days at Starz, when his first greenlighted series was costume drama Camelot. He has since stayed in the present or close to it with Boss and Magic City, in addition to the live-action adaptation of the anime series Noir.