MARCO POLO, the legendary pioneer and explorer from the 13th century, will have his tale told in an epic new scripted original series, as announced jointly by Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht, The Weinstein Company's Co-Chairman, Harvey Weinstein, and Electus Chairman and Founder, Ben Silverman.
The series is written and created by John Fusco (Hidalgo, Young Guns, Thunderheart, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron - Academy Award(R) nomination for Best Screenplay). It will be executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein (The Weinstein Company); Ben Silverman (Electus), as well as Fusco.
"Marco Polo" is Fusco's 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.
Starz Entertainment will own the exclusive license to the 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 United States in home video. The Weinstein Company and Electus' global distribution arm Electus International control all remaining rights.
Albrecht commented on the latest addition to the Starz Original series lineup that "Marco Polo has captivated imaginations for centuries, and John's script brings this fantastical story to life. In addition to a remarkable story, we share a joint creative vision with our partners at The Weinstein Company and Electus to deliver a larger than life cinematic adventure for audiences in the United States and around the world."
"The stories and adventures of Marco Polo are timeless and we couldn't be more excited to work with Starz and Electus on this project," said Weinstein. "We look forward to beginning production next year on what is sure to be a fascinating, martial-arts filled telling of one of history's greatest explorers."
"We are thrilled to be able to work with an exceptional creative team to tell this amazing story in an updated and unique way," said Ben Silverman, Chairman and Founder of Electus. "Starz has been a tremendous partner in allowing us maximum creative freedom to bring audiences a fresh perspective on history and John Fusco, who lives and breathes this material, is uniquely qualified to bring this story to life."
Weinstein originally developed the idea and brought John Fusco on to write the script. It was then brought to Electus and together they delivered the project to Starz. John Fusco is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content.
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R) brands with approximately 19 million and 32.8 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LMCA).