Starz Announces New Original Series MARCO POLO
MARCO POLO, the legendary pioneer and explorer from the 13th century, will have his tale told in an epic new scripted original series, as announced jointly by Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht, The Weinstein Company's Co-Chairman, Harvey Weinstein, and Electus Chairman and Founder, Ben Silverman.
The series is written and created by John Fusco (Hidalgo, Young Guns, Thunderheart, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron - Academy Award(R) nomination for Best Screenplay). It will be executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein (The Weinstein Company); Ben Silverman (Electus), as well as Fusco.
"Marco Polo" is Fusco's fantastical martial arts epic, chronicling the famous adventurer's early years in the court of Kublai Khan. Acting as the ruler's spy, ambassador and explorer, Marco treks across the Far East and returns with tales of his journeys. In a court filled with political betrayal and forbidden relationships, Marco must use his martial arts training to survive, but it is his ability to enchant Khan with imaginative tales of his kingdom that is often his best tool to stay alive.
Starz Entertainment will own the exclusive license to the domestic premium pay TV rights and certain digital rights to the series for its flagship STARZ network, while Starz's Anchor Bay arm will distribute the property in the United States in home video. The Weinstein Company and Electus' global distribution arm Electus International control all remaining rights.
Albrecht commented on the latest addition to the Starz Original series lineup that "Marco Polo has captivated imaginations for centuries, and John's script brings this fantastical story to life. In addition to a remarkable story, we share a joint creative vision with our partners at The Weinstein Company and Electus to deliver a larger than life cinematic adventure for audiences in the United States and around the world."
"The stories and adventures of Marco Polo are timeless and we couldn't be more excited to work with Starz and Electus on this project," said Weinstein. "We look forward to beginning production next year on what is sure to be a fascinating, martial-arts filled telling of one of history's greatest explorers."
"We are thrilled to be able to work with an exceptional creative team to tell this amazing story in an updated and unique way," said Ben Silverman, Chairman and Founder of Electus. "Starz has been a tremendous partner in allowing us maximum creative freedom to bring audiences a fresh perspective on history and John Fusco, who lives and breathes this material, is uniquely qualified to bring this story to life."
Weinstein originally developed the idea and brought John Fusco on to write the script. It was then brought to Electus and together they delivered the project to Starz. John Fusco is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content.
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R) brands with approximately 19 million and 32.8 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LMCA).
About The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes, including Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH, winner of four 2011 Academy Awards(R), including Best Picture.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; and I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT. Currently in release are APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; and SARAH'S KEY. Upcoming releases include MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, PIRANHA 3DD; THE ARTIST; W.E.; and THE IRON LADY.
TWC is also active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production and current President of Television Meryl Poster, with credits including the Emmy(R) nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series Project Runway, spin-off series Project Accessory and Project Runway All Stars, the VH1 reality series Mob Wives, and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency which also received a Peabody Award. The company is currently in production on the second season of Mob Wives as well as the newest installment in the series' franchise Mob Wives Chicago. TWC additionally has 17 series in different stages of development, including The Nanny Diaries, being adapted for ABC by Amy Sherman Palladino (Gilmore Girls).
Electus is the first integrated multimedia entertainment studio to unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof and produce all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world. Headed by Ben Silverman in partnership with IAC [NASDAQ: IACI], the company connects advertisers, distributors and content creators early on in the development process, enabling marketers and advertisers to be a true partner in campaigns and content creation. For more information on Electus, visit www.electus.com.