UPDATED: The Weinstein Co. and Electus‘ Marco Polo series is on the move. I’ve learned that Netflix has made an offer for a 9-episode order to the original drama about the 13th century explorer. According to sources close to the negotiations, there is no deal in place yet because Harvey Weinstein also is considering a feature version of the project, which is fully financed, and is deciding between the two options. Marco Polo originally was set up at Starz, which gave it a 10-episode straight-to-series order in January 2012. The series was supposed to film in China, something no other U.S. show has done, which proved a complex and difficult proposition. I hear the potential series will film in Malaysia. Seven scripts already have been written, with casting on track to begin right away for a production start in the first quarter. The Weinstein Co. and Electus took out the project after it was released to them by Starz, the pay cable network confirmed.With the delays caused by the efforts to film in China, Starz has built a full slate for 2014 with 50 hours of original programming, making it difficult to find space for another series.Marco Polo, from creators John Fusco (Young Guns), who originally conceived the series, and Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy), who joined the project early on as co-showrunner, tells the true story of the world’s greatest storyteller, an epic and cinematic adventure of high politics, masterful manipulation and deadly warfare. Young Marco Polo finds himself at the center of a brutal war between two empires in 13th century China, replete with close combat, romance and sexual intrigue, religious tension, political skullduggery and spectacular battles.
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