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Starz is going into business with the man behind the Superman and Batman.
The male-skewing cable network has picked up adventure series Da Vinci’s Demons, written by Man of Steel feature scribe David Goyer (who also co-wrote Batman Begins, The Dark Knight).
The eight-episode historical fantasy series, developed and produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, tells the “untold” story of the world’s greatest genius during his 20s in Renaissance Florence.
“Da Vinci was the original Renaissance man — a near-mythic figure that has worldwide appeal,” Goyer said in a statement announcing the news Tuesday. “After working with characters like Batman and Superman, it made a strange kind of sense for me to dive into the facts and legends swirling around his origins.”
Da Vinci’s Demons will also tell the story of the brash and brilliant 25-year-old artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist whose intellect and talents will be explored as he struggle to live within the confines of his own reality and time as he begins to see — and invent — the future.
“This will be a show about secret histories, genius, madness and all things profane,” Goyer added. “And I’m particularly excited that I get to do it on premium cable, where the story can be as dark and challenging and irreverent as it deserves to be. Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions have been nothing but supportive.”
The project is the first under the multiyear deal Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions set this summer.
Production on the series is scheduled to begin early next year for a 2013 premiere. Goyer will serve as showrunner, with Julie Gardner executive producing along with BBC Worldwide Productions topper Jane Tranter.
“David has reimagined some of the most iconic superheroes of all time, and is again building an extraordinary prism through which to rediscover the world’s greatest genius and most mysterious man,” Starz media managing director Carmi Zlotnick said. “If modern day has Tony Stark, the Renaissance had da Vinci. This is a story we believe will captivate the imaginations of audiences around the world and is the first of what we expect to be many productions with our talented partners at BBC Worldwide Productions.”
Added Tranter: “The young life of this incredibly complex and brilliant man has not yet been explored. With David Goyer, whose imagination has created juggernaut and iconic theatrical features, coupled with the premium presence of Chris Albrecht, Carmi Zlotnik and their Starz team, we couldn’t be more passionate about bringing this story to U.S. viewers and international audiences.”
Da Vinci’s Demons joins a lineup that includes Kelsey Grammer’s already-renewed politica drama Boss, Spartacus: Vengeance and Magic City, which premieres in April.
Goyer and BBC Worldwide Productions are repped by CAA.
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