EXCLUSIVE: For a guy who lived in the 13th Century, Marco Polo has suddenly caught Hollywood’s fancy. Warner Bros has set Stephanie Koff to write Marco Polo, a film Erwin Stoff is producing. Koff, who most recently adapted Wither, based on the bestselling young adult novel series The Chemical Garden Trilogy. She’s a writer of science fiction action and fantasy and will take Marco Polo in a new direction. This comes as Netflix has emerged as frontrunner on a nine episode order on a series created by John Fusco backed by The Weinstein Company and Electus. Polo was the Venice merchant traveler and storyteller who ventured to China and opened up Asia for trade. Koff is repped by Gersh and New Wave Entertainment.
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.
MIPCOM: Harvey Weinstein Aims For Grammy-Style Event Status With New Michael Flatley Dance Awards Show
Harvey Weinstein sat down for a Q&A at MIPCOM today, making his first official appearance at the TV market. The Weinstein Company co-chairman outlined plans for new annual live TV event show Michael Flatley’s World Dance Awards. As I reported earlier today, Flatley was indeed the surprise guest during Weinstein’s session, but he didn’t do any tap steps.
Weinstein said the show would be performance-oriented and that he’d call on his stable of celebrity pals from around the world to line the red carpet. “If this show has a cousin, it’s the Grammys,” he said. Making his pitch to buyers, Weinstein added, “We want to make it an event so it’s a game-changer for all the networks that buy the show and a ratings blockbuster that the people who get in early will have year after year.” The show does not yet have a network, but Weinstein is looking to find a hole in the awards calendar where it can stand on its own. “Maybe in April or May before Cannes,” he said. Flatley called the show a “dream come true” and commented, “We owe this to the millions and millions of kids around the world that dance… They give their everything and I can’t understand why there’s no awards.” About 8-10 prizes will be handed out including for best dance in a film, on TV and in video, as well as a best dancer in the world prize. Flatley said he would choreograph the opening ceremony.
Canterbury’s Law creator Dave Erickson has joined Starz’s upcoming drama series Marco Polo as executive producer. He will co-showrun the series with creator/executive producer John Fusco, who comes from a feature background. Marco Polo, described as a fantastical martial arts epic about the thirteenth century explorer, chronicling the famous adventurer’s …
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.