Written by on Jan 15, 2014. Posted in On Location

The Weinstein Company to film Marco Polo miniseries at Pinewood Studios Malaysia

Internet TV network Netflix will build on the success of House of Cards with a miniseries based on the life of 13th Century traveller and writer Marco Polo. The Weinstein Company will produce the production that will film at Pinewood Studios’ Malaysia facility.

Marco Polo spent many years in China and formed a diplomatic relationship with the country's Mongol ruler Kublai Khan.

Netflix has ordered nine episodes from executive producer and series creator John Fusco, and The Weinstein Company will produce. The series will take the character of Marco Polo into a medieval China “replete with astonishing martial arts, sexual intrigue, political skullduggery and spectacular battles”. This all indicates a tone similar to Game of Thrones and indeed the Marco Polo creative team will include executive producer and director Dan Minahan, a veteran of HBO’s fantasy hit.

“With the glowing success of series like House of Cards (above) and [prison drama] Orange is the New Black, it's clear that Netflix is breaking tremendous ground in the realm of streaming original content. We could not be more excited to partner with them on this project, along with the creative tour de force of John Fusco and his talented team,” Harvey Weinstein.

Marco Polo will be the first major production to film on location at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios.

Political drama House of Cards – filmed on location in Baltimore in Maryland – was the first TV series to be launched exclusively online and all the episodes were made available at once. The show proved a huge success and a second series will be launched in the same way in the next few weeks.

Marco Polo will be the first major production to film on location at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios. The facility offers five stages, the largest of which is 30,300 square feet. Malaysia offers a 30% filming incentive available as a cash rebate for eligible productions filming locally.

Historical epics remain a firm favourite for international TV audiences. Game of Thrones continues to dominate from its production base in Northern Ireland, while pirate drama Black Sails – filmed on location in South Africa – will debut in the coming months and has already been commissioned for a second series. Rival series Crossbones is scheduled for production in Puerto Rico.

Elsewhere, Vikings is an established hit in Ireland and plans are underway to develop a miniseries exploring the life of legendary Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca.

(Pinewood Studios photo: Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios)


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