12:12pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Da Vinci's Demons' Creator David S. Goyer: Da Vinci is Like a Superhero (Video)
David S. Goyer, the writer behind Batman and Superman features The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, shifts his focus to Starz's upcoming Da Vinci's Demons, a historical fantasy about the life and adventures of Leonardo Da Vinci.
Goyer, who told reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour that he'd never done anything historical before, said he was first approached to do a historical piece and quickly narrowed it down to Da Vinci, who hadn't yet been put under the microscope.
In addition to being a famed artist, Goyer said he was known historically to be good writer and swordsman, who was able to bend iron bars with his hands -- with "80-85 percent" of what's depicted in the eight-episode series drawn from historical fact.
"We've embellished it with what I'm calling historical fantasy; he had an incredible life and we didn't have to embellish as much as you'd think," he noted. "I didn't want to do Ye Olde Historical Drama; I wanted to do something historical, viewed through a modern prism."
As for the switch from comic book superheroes, Goyer said the nature of Da Vinci's life wasn't that different from the preparations he made to tell stories about the Caped Crusader and Man of Steel.
"Da Vinci is kind of superhero-y, there are so many legends and tall tales about him," Goyer said. "People have said aside from Christ he's the most recognizable figure in the world. My approach wasn't unsimilar to adapting Batman and Superman -- obviously we did a lot more research."
As for rumors about Da Vinci's sexuality, star Tom Riley said writers aren't intending to dispel any rumors about him. "He was a man who can't be confined," he told critics, adding that thought viewers would be satisfied with how the story is handled.
Da Vinci's Demons will premiere Friday, April 12 at 10 p.m., moving to 9 p.m. the following week after the series finale of Spartacus. Watch the trailer, below.