The Weinstein Co. and the screenwriter John Fusco had a fruitful collaboration with “Marco Polo,” the period epic set during the 13th-century reign of Kublai Khan that Netflix debuted in December.
Now the pair could be taking things back a few generations.
Weinstein executives and Fusco ("Young Guns") have begun early talks on a similarly scoped project about Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire who was Kublai Khan’s grandfather, according to a person familiar with the project who declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of discussions.
The person said there’s no official deal yet, but Weinstein executives are said to be keen on the project. The idea would be to look at the more complex elements of a leader often thought of as a simple barbarian, including how religious tolerance and other freedoms flourished under his rule.
Known as the world's most famous conqueror, Genghis Khan has been wrapped in a thick legend--so thick that even his tomb site is unknown (though that hasn't stopped some novel minds from trying to find out).
A Weinstein spokesperson declined to comment.
It’s not clear if the company would collaborate with Netflix on the Khan series. “Marco Polo” received mixed reviews when its 10 episodes premiered but was renewed for a second season; Netflix does not release viewership numbers.
With their cinematic sweep, easy consumer recognition and freely available intellectual property, historical epics have been enjoying a vogue lately. A “Ben-Hur” theatrical remake is currently in production in Italy while NBC’s “A.D.: The Bible Continues” debuted to strong ratings earlier this month.