Universal Plans Its Own Leonardo da Vinci Action Hero Movie

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 18th, 2013 at 9:37 am,

leonardo da vinci movie Universal Plans Its Own Leonardo da Vinci Action Hero Movie

Movie/TV trends are sometimes very unpredictable oddities, to say the least. While the impending onslaught of, say, Hollywood-produced board game movies (ex. Battleship, Candyland, etc.) may have seemed inevitable, who would have expected there to be multiple projects in development, all of which re-envision the life of famed Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci as an action hero?

Universal Pictures’ newly-announced Leonardo is the latest addition to the pack of upcoming Da Vinci projects, which also includes Warner Bros.’ Leonardo Da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever – along with Starz’ Da Vinci’s Demons television series.

Variety is reporting that Universal has purchased the Leonardo spec, which was penned by Jonny Kurzman (M.I.High). The project will be produced by Oscar-nominees Lawrence and Charles Gordon, whose joint production credits include the first two Die Hard movies and The Rocketeer; the former also worked behind-the-scenes on Watchmen, while C. Gordon’s most recent production effort was Hitman, back in 2007.

The plot of Leonardo is said to be “focused on da Vinci’s quest to stop Renaissance Europe from returning to the Dark Ages.” Similar to the aforementioned da Vinci projects, Leonardo picks up with the legendary artist and inventor (among many other things) as a young man.

Da Vinci’s Demons is being pegged as a historical fantasy piece that explores the “untold” aspects of its namesake’s life and envisions the man as (essentially) the Renaissance equivalent of Tony Stark/Iron Man. Soldiers of Forever will be more a pulpy fantasy-adventure movie, along the lines of the National Treasure and Indiana Jones series… with, apparently, a dash of Clash of the Titans-style mythological subject matter added to the mix (take that as you will).

Leonardo is being described (on Kurzman’s official CV) as a “comedy action-adventure feature.” Whether that means it will mix humor and action in a manner similar to Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies – or be more of an outright campy period adventure, a la Paul W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers – remains to be seen.

On that note – the airships in Anderson’s Musketeers adaptation were (in the context of the film, at least) based on schematics designed by da Vinci. Don’t be surprised if similar Renaissance-style technology shows up in most, if not all, of the upcoming da Vinci action movies/TV shows.

three musketeers airships Universal Plans Its Own Leonardo da Vinci Action Hero Movie

The airships in Anderson's 'Three Musketeers'

It’s difficult to say for certain whether or not both of the in-development da Vinci-based studio productions will actually come to fruition. The two projects may ultimately prove to be very different in tone and style, similar to the dual Snow White movies (Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman) – or even the two Abraham Lincoln flicks (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic) – due out in 2012.

Warner Bros. and Universal officials may both ultimately decide to press ahead with their respective da Vinci films, should they feel the projects offer sufficiently “unique” takes on the man’s life to distinguish themselves from the competition. Whether or not moviegoers will be interested in seeing two action flicks about da Vinci is, of course, another matter altogether…

We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Leonardo as the story develops.

Source: Variety

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  1. I’m excited to see how all three of these projects develop. Leonardo is one of my cultural “heroes” (to the extent that in elementary school, I even taught myself how to write backwards…with both hands!) I’m always up for seeing more (well-done) da Vinci portrayals…I loved his appearance in “Ever After” and his usefulness in Assassin’s Creed (2?).

    On a related note, the “Time Lincoln” comic series takes a similar approach but to Abraham Lincoln, of course, and does so in an enteraining, often clever, manner. Thus, I see no reason to think that da Vinci cannot be translated as/transitioned into an action hero.

  2. I’m actually open to the idea of a “Leonardo” movie IF DONE RIGHT:
    The way he’s depicted in the Assassin’s Creed games is awesome IMO, and the Marvel comic series (entitled S.H.I.E.L.D.) which features him, is pretty impressive as well — if they can find a balance between those two examples, I would be happy.
    As long as they stay true to the time-period, and not overdo it (like with Three Musketeers) then I can see a movie like that being a terrific success.

    In short: I support this idea (it beats doing more crappy reboots IMO)

  3. I’m just imagining Da Vinci bursting in on a room full of goons sitting down to a fancy dinner; his determined eyes hidden by a pair of aviators, a bead of sweat on his brow. He raises a steady hand, grasping a Desert Eagle before looking one of the goons in eye and uttering in a quiet rasping voice: “Looks like this is your … Last Supper.” *BANG!*

    … on second thought this might be pretty awesome movie.

  4. A da Vinci was a true visionary. I don’t see why they can’t make a serious movie about him. Like Spielberg is doing with Lincoln.

  5. I bet they make Van Gough next,a love story starring robert pattison…..