Sony Boards Da Vinci Series 'Leonardo' With 'Poldark' Star Aidan Turner

'Poldark'

Aidan Turner is the titular Poldark in this BBC/PBS production: a Cornish Captain who returns home after the American Revolutionary War to find his father dead, his land and house ruined and his girlfriend engaged to another man. Turner is already an Internet legend thanks to his topless scything scenes —the subject of much breathless commentary from Poldark fans —and the series is florid, rollicking good fun, a guilty pleasure that never takes itself too seriously.

Where to watch: PBS Passport, Amazon, iTunes

The series comes from 'Man in the High Castle' creator Frank Spotnitz.

Sony Pictures Television is set to co-produce and distribute Leonardo, an eight-part limited drama series about Leonardo Da Vinci from Lux Vide, Rai Fiction and Big Light Productions. The drama was created by Frank Spotnitz (The Man in the High Castle) and Steve Thompson (Sherlock), and started shooting in Rome on Monday. 

The cast for Leonardo includes Poldark's Aidan Turner as da Vinci, and Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor) who will play Stefano Giraldi, a fictional officer of the law in Milan investigating da Vinci as the suspect in a murder case and digging into his past. Starring alongside them is Matilda de Angelis (The Undoing) as Caterina da Cremona and Giancarlo Giannini (Catch 22), rounds out the lead cast, in the role of Andrea del Verrocchio.

The series is being directed by Dan Percival (The Man in the High Castle).

“While da Vinci made his name in Florence, people everywhere feel he is somehow a part of their story,” said Brendan Fitzgerald, senior vp international co-productions, Sony Pictures Television. “Together with RAI Fiction, LUX Vide and Big Light Productions, we hope to tap into this and tell a story that remains true to its Italian origin and resonates the world over.”

“The genius of Leonardo da Vinci remains deeply inspiring, which is why we’ve been able to attract such an incredible team, with Aidan, Freddie, Matilda and Giancarlo headlining the cast, and Sony Pictures Television coming on board to bring us the greatest broadcast partners around the world," said Spotnitz, executive producer and CEO of Big Light Productions. "I couldn’t imagine better collaborators with whom to tell this story."