EXCLUSIVE: Dana Brunetti and Keegan Rosenberger’s Cavalry Media has tapped Marco Polo creator John Fusco to write, executive produce and showrun another drama about a famous explorer, Hispaniola, a historical epic series based on the Hans Koning book Columbus: His Enterprise: Exploding the Myth.
Hispaniola is envisioned as a premium drama about unchecked power and the madness and brilliance bred by its pursuit. Based on Koning’s 1991 book, published by NYU Press, it will tell the brutal true story of Christopher Columbus and the first Wild West frontier, the tropical Caribbean island of Hispaniola that now encompasses the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Hispaniola is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, founded by Columbus on his voyages in 1492 and 1493.
Fusco will write the adaptation and executive produce with Cavalry’s Brunetti and Rosenberger and Raw’s Dimitri Doganis. Cavalry creative execs Jen Bosari, Erin Conroy, and Jason Seagraves will oversee the project on behalf of the company.
“John Fusco is an exceptional choice to craft this epic tale and bring it to series,” said Brunetti. “Hispaniola is a visceral and compelling story drenched in gore, conflict, and ambition exploring the untold story of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the new world – the island of Hispaniola.”
Fusco, whose drama series Marco Polo aired for two seasons on Netflix, most recently penned the screenplay for Netflix’s upcoming feature The Highwaymen starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. His other writing and/or producing credits include feature film Thunderheart, praised as as a pro-Native American exposé of government abuses on reservations, along with Young Guns 1 and 2, Forbidden Kingdom and Hidalgo.
“My longtime relationship and alliance with the Native American community has made me want to tell this story for years,” added Fusco. “The dark and brutal truth behind Columbus – not the myth taught in schools – has found its time and medium. I am beyond excited about partnering with Cavalry and Raw to bring this epic drama to long-form series life.”
The project reunites Cavalry and Raw who previously teamed on CNN’s Race for the White House.
“The true history of the discovery of the New World as revealed by Hans Koning, is one that’s not only deeply shocking, but also widely unknown or misunderstood,” said Raw’s Doganis. “John Fusco’s unique take on this compelling drama makes him the perfect writer and showrunner to bring it to the screen.”