EXCLUSIVE: If you are a major agency and you wait for an actor to be discovered before signing him, it’s too late. UTA emerged from a competitive situation to sign Lorenzo Richelmy, who is playing the title character in the massive Netflix/Weinstein Company TV limited-run series Marco Polo. Richelmy is a 23-year-old Italian actor who’ll play the 13th century merchant traveler who was among the first to establish ties with Asia. The first two episodes, which I am told are among the priciest ever, will be helmed by Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg, who take this on before doing the next Pirates Of The Caribbean. The 10-hour series is executive produced by creator-writer John Fusco and showrunner Daniel Minahan. It’s Netflix’s attempt to build on original programming successes House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. Richelmy, who is bilingual, starred in the Italian-produced drama Il Terzo Tempo (The Third Half), which premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, and the comedy La Terra e Il Vento (The Earth And The Wind). UTA becomes the actor’s first American agency. Richelmy continues to be represented in Rome by Daniele Orazi at Consorzio Officine Artistiche.