After a successful collaboration resulting in Torchwood: Miracle Day, Starz is reuniting once more with BBC Worldwide Productions to bring to life the eight-part series Da Vinci’s Demons from Batman Begins and Man of Steel screenwriter, David S. Goyer.
According to the network, Da Vinci’s Demons will explore the youth of the historical figure, focusing on a twenty-something Leonardo Da Vinci as he begins to utilize his gifts and bring to fruition some of his greatest creations in Renaissance Florence. The series not only sees Da Vinci as the inventor, architect and artist the world knows him to be, but also envisions the genius as a swordsman and all-around romantic.
Starz media managing director Carmi Zlotnick said, "If modern day has Tony Stark, the Renaissance had Da Vinci.”
Focusing on such ‘untold’ aspects of Da Vinci may earn Da Vinci’s Demons its detractors, but in the hands of a craftsman like Goyer, who has handled similar (albeit fictional) characters to certain acclaim, it’s likely the writer will find a supportive audience for his latest venture.
Furthermore, Goyer isn’t the first to see Da Vinci as a man of action. Warner Bros. has been developing the script Leonardo Da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever, and Marvel comic writer Jonathan Hickman envisioned Da Vinci as one of the true founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D. in his story ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.: Architects of Forever’.
Goyer addressed the series in the following statement:
“Da Vinci was the original Renaissance man – a near-mythic figure that has worldwide appeal. 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. This will be a show about secret histories, genius, madness and all things profane. 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."
Goyer's plate already has the aforementioned Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises on it, an upcoming Showtime series based on the award-winning Vertigo comic 100 Bullets, as well as screenwriting duties on the American reboot of Godzilla. He will aslo serve as executive producer and writer for all eight episodes of Da Vinci's Demons, with filming expected to begin sometime next year.
The first in a multi-year deal with BBC Worldwide Productions, Da Vinci’s Demons may serve to reunite Starz with fans upset over the cancellation of the network’s failed fantasy entry, Camelot. Though many elements are different, early word suggests Da Vinci may attract a similar audience.
Regardless, by the time it airs, the series’ main goal will be to bolster Starz’ expanding line-up, which now includes Kelsey Grammer’s impressive dramatic turn in Boss, returning fan-favorite Spartacus: Vengeance and the period crime drama Magic City, which will debut in April 2012.
Look for Da Vinci’s Demons to land on Starz sometime in 2013.