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Netflix Eyes 'Marco Polo' Drama Series

UPDATED: The drama was previously set up at Starz from the Weinstein Co. and Electus.

DOWN: Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings

Netflix is considering setting sail with Marco Polo.

The streaming service is eyeing the drama series Marco Polo from Starz, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

STORY: Starz Orders 'Marco Polo' Series From Weinsteins, Ben Silverman

The drama was originally developed at Starz, who picked up the project straight to series in January 2012. Sources tell THR that the cable network released the drama back to producers the Weinstein Co. and Electus after its attempts to film the series in China fizzled. The Weinstein Co. is currently mulling whether to set up the series at Netflix as a nine-episode order or a feature film version of the project. 

The series hails from creators John Fusco (Young Guns) and Dave Erikson (Sons of Anarchy, Low Winter Sun). The nine-chapter story chronicles the explorer's journey from the treachery surrounding him to his relationship with the tyrant Kublai Khan. Harveyand Bob Weinstein originally developed the idea alongside Electus' Ben Silverman, all of whom will serve as executive producers.

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Marco Polo is the true story of the world’s greatest storyteller. It's described as an epic and cinematic adventure of high politics, masterful manipulation and deadly warfare. The drama is told from the young Marco Polo's point of view when he 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. 

The series would join an original programming roster at Netflix that includes Orange Is the New Black, which in a move similar to Starz, was renewed for a second season ahead of its premiere; horror-thriller Hemlock Grove, Emmy darling House of Cards;Arrested Development; Ricky Gervais' upcoming entry Derek; and the Wachowskis' Sense8.

The pickup comes as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has plans to double the company's original series in 2014.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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