Netflix‘s newest original TV series coming to ‘air’ is one that will be at the top end of its expenses list, with $90m reportedly invested in making the first season of historical drama Marco Polo, and ahead of a full season release in mid-December, the streaming service have released the first little display of how that production budget was spent.
Yesterday (29 October) saw Netflix reveal an official first trailer for their newest show, which has already been compared to HBO hit Game of Thrones purely on its vast medieval landscapes and themes introduced in the clip, though Netflix’s show will have firm origins within a true story.
The Marco Polo series is based around the famed 13th-century explorer of the same name, who will be played by Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy, as he makes his well-known expedition down the ‘Silk Road’ to travel between what is modern-day Italy and China. Whilst on the path, he ends up in the court of Kublai Khan (played by Benedict Wong), adding to the adventure and intrigue of his trip.
The series was a creation of John Fusco (who will be a writer on the upcoming Netflix-exclusive movie sequel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend), supported by directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (both Kon-Tiki) directing over the first two episodes and being executive producers for the season as a whole. Further behind-the-scenes support comes from executive producers Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones) and Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Co., whilst the cast is completed with Joan Chen, Olivia Cheng, Remy Hii, Claudia Kim, Uli Latukefu, Tom Wu, and Zhu Zhu (Cloud Atlas).
The official blurb of the show notes: “Intrigue. Deception. Bloodshed. These are just some of the obstacles awaiting legendary explorer Marco Polo as he navigates the inner court of 13th century ruler, Kublai Khan. From the back alleys of Venice to the perilous Silk Road, from the opulence of the Imperial City to the battlefields of China, Marco Polo is an epic action-adventure, where cultures clash, blood is spilled, and lies are told…”
Set to be premiered on Netflix at one minute past midnight (PT) on Friday 12 December, will Marco Polo travel quickly to the top of the list of most talked-about current TV shows? Critics have called the trailer a promising sign: