NEW YORK, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Weinstein Company announced today that production is underway on "MARCO POLO," a Netflix original series based on the epic adventures of Marco Polo. Shoot locations for the ten episode first season include Italy, Kazakhstan and the new Pinewood Studios in Malaysia. Netflix plans to premiere the series in late 2014.
The famed explorer's journey takes him to the center of a brutal war in 13th century China, a world replete with exotic martial arts, political skullduggery, spectacular battles and sexual intrigue. The global cast includes Lorenzo Richelmy (IL TERZO TEMPO) as Marco Polo, Benedict Wong (PROMETHEUS), Zhu Zhu (CLOUD ATLAS), Tom Wu (SKYFALL), Remy Hii (TREADING WATER) and Rick Yune (OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS).
Creator John Fusco (FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, YOUNG GUNS, HIDALGO) and Harvey Weinstein will serve as executive producers. Dan Minahan (GAME OF THRONES, TRUE BLOOD) will also serve as executive producer and will direct two episodes. Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg (Academy Award nominated KON-TIKI, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES) will direct the season's first two episodes. Patrick MacManus will serve as co-executive producer. Collin Creighton will produce on behalf of The Weinstein Company.
"Television audiences today are more discerning than ever before both in terms of character and the scope of the worlds those characters live in. We are proud to present a series that rivals some of the most successful films we've ever made. Marco Polo is a figure all have heard of, but few truly know, and we are excited to introduce him to the world. And we are shooting all over the world. From the sweeping vistas of Kazakhstan which act as backdrop for the wars and conquests of Kublai Khan to the intimate moments within the alleys and canals of Marco's hometown of Venice, Italy, this is spectacle in the truest sense of the word," said Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company.
"John, Dan, Joachim, Espen and our partners at The Weinstein Company are elevating the art of storytelling and delivering cinematic quality that we're certain our members will enjoy," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. "In this commanding, epic story of Marco Polo, through the magnetic cast they've assembled, the spectacular martial arts work they are showcasing and the exotic locations that serve as a backdrop, they have really outdone themselves."
For more on Marco Polo, follow the official Twitter account:
About the cast:
Lorenzo Richelmy (photo included):
Born in Liguria in 1990, Lorenzo Richelmy moved to Rome in 1994 where his acting debut was in a theatrical performance at the age of 8. In 2002, his career launched with the film "il pranzo della domenica" and in 2007 his TV performances included "I liceali" directed by Lucio Pellegrini. In 2008 he was awarded Best Upcoming Personality by the Italian Tourist Department. Lorenzo attended CSC, the top drama school in Italy, as the youngest student ever admitted. In 2010 he starred in the film "Fat Cat," where he was nominated for Best Actor at the International Film Festival in Bruxelles, as well as three other festivals in California. In 2012 Lorenzo was cast as the lead in "Terra e vento" directed by Sebastian Maulucci as well as starring in "Terzo tempo," produced by Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (CSC ) where it went on to the Venice Film Festival. Lorenzo also received an award dedicated to a young talent by the Maremetraggio Film Festival. In 2014 Lorenzo starred in Carlo Verdone's successful comedy "Sotto una buona stella" along with Paola Cortellesi, Carlo Verdone and Tea Falco.
Benedict Wong's acting career is comprised of performances in film, television and theater. Benedict has appeared in films including HUMMINGBIRD, KICK ASS 2, PROMETHEUS, JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN, THE LADY, MOON, SHANGHAI, LARGO WINCH, GROWN YOUR OWN, SUNSHINE, A COCK AND BULL STORY, ON A CLEAR DAY, TRISTRAM SHANDY, CODE 46, DIRTY PRETTY THINGS, SPYGAME, WIT, KISS KISS BANG BANG. His TV appearances include HONG KONG CRACKER, ARABIAN NIGHTS, TLC, 15 STOREYS HIGH, STATE OF PLAY, THE ELEVENTH HOUR, FRANKENSTEIN, THE IT CROWD, SPOOKS, SPIRITWARRIORS, LAW AND ORDER, TOP BOY SERIES 1 &2, COVERT AFFAIRS, RUN, THE WRONG MANS, and PREY. He has also performed in many theatrical plays including CHIMERICA, THE ARREST OF AI WEIWEI, and HAMLET, amongst others.
This Beijing native actress (whose name is pronounced "juju") first caught the public's eye as a host of MTV in China. She made her big screen debut in the Chinese remake of "What Women Want." She made her first appearances in English language movies with "Cloud Atlas" and in the RZA-helmed "The Man With the Iron Fists." She has recently appeared in the bilingual film "Shanghai Calling," and followed that up with a leading role in the contemporary love story "Secret Sharer."
As a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Tom Wu has been featured on the big screen in such films as Kick Ass 2, R.E.D 2, Skyfall directed by Sam Mendes, RA1, Scorpion King, The Tournament, Mutant Chronicles, Revolver directed by Guy Richie, Batman Begins directed by Christopher Nolan, The Wake of Death, Life & Death of Peter Sellers, Belly of the Beast, Out for a Kill, Tomb Raider II, Shanghai Knights, Rouge Trader, Sally Kerosene, Red and Empire of the Sun directed by Steven Spielberg. Tom has also been in television shows including Treasure Island, Da Vinci's Demons, New Tricks, Bo and the Spirit World, Omid, Whistle Blower, The Ruby in the Smoke, Casualty, Emmerdale, Secrets of the First Emperor, The Commander, Silent Witness, Footballer's Wives, Guardian, The Bill, Search, Thieftakers, Dr Terrible's House of Horribles, Hong Kong Cracker and also has a history in theater with performances including Tintin,Wild Swans, Ramyana (National Theatre), M. Butterfly (Shaftesbury Theatre), Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal).
In 2013, Remy Hii starred as Van Nguyen in the gripping SBS drama Better Man, receiving an AACTA Award nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama. He has also appeared in SBS' critically acclaimed series, East of Everything, Jonathan M Shiff's H20: Just Add Water and Neighbours, he has also starred in Alex Murawski's short film, Kiss, alongside Sophie Lowe and Melissa Anastasi's Treading Water. Remy graduated from Australia's prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2011. Whilst studying at NIDA he appeared in several stage productions including Port, The Underpants, As You Like It, Flight, Nana, In the Violet Time, Australian Gothic and The Estimator.
Rick Yune has appeared in various films including OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN directed by Antoine Fuqua, THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS directed by RZA, REMIGRATION, NINJA ASSASSIN, BEYOND REMEDY, THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT, DIE ANOTHER DAY, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS. Rick has also appeared in the following television shows, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, BOSTON LEGAL, ALIAS, THE DIVISION and ANY DAY NOW.
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About The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. During Harvey and Bob's tenure at Miramax and The Weinstein Company, they have received 348 Oscar nominations and won 82 Academy Awards.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; 1408; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; BULLY; THE INTOUCHABLES; LAWLESS; KILLING THEM SOFTLY; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; QUARTET; ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; DARK SKIES; THE SAPPHIRES; SCARY MOVIE 5; KON-TIKI; UNFINISHED SONG; FRUITVALE STATION; LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER; THE GRANDMASTER; SALINGER and 12-12-12. Currently in release are PHILOMENA, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM; AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY and VAMPIRE ACADEMY. Upcoming releases include ST. VINCENT, THE RAILWAY MAN, CAN A SONG SAVE YOUR LIFE, THE GIVER, FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR and PADDINGTON.
TWC also boasts an active television production division led by former Miramax Films Co-President of Production Meryl Poster. TWC garnered nine Emmy nominations in 2013. The Weinstein Company Television produces the reality powerhouse Project Runway, now in its 12th season on Lifetime; with its spin-off series Project Accessory and the critically-acclaimed Project Runway All Stars, hosted by Alyssa Milano. TWC recently launched Million Dollar Shoppers and completed Supermarket Superstar hosted by Stacy Keibler for Lifetime as well as Rodeo Girls for A&E. TWC is currently in production on Mob Wives Season 4 for VH1 and Welcome To Myrtle Manor Season 2 for TLC. Announced scripted projects in development include an adaptation of Daniel Stashower's bestselling Civil War-era spy thriller The Hour Of Peril. TWC also developed Amy Sherman Palladino's The Nanny Diaries for ABC and produced the award-winning HBO series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, directed by Anthony Minghella.
SOURCE Netflix, Inc.