Winter is coming, but for large swaths of the country, winter is already here. With bad weather already affecting many, people are probably beginning to scan through their streaming-TV options, looking for something to binge on through the blizzards. Netflix is certainly hoping its latest, “Marco Polo” will fill the gap until HBO’s “Game of Thrones” returns early next year.
Producers are actively inviting the comparison. As executive producer Harvey Weinstein told The Times in September, “It’s a giant adventure. The only thing on TV that matches it, production-scale wise, is ‘Game of Thrones.’”
Just remember, there will be no frost giants or White Walkers, and any on-screen dragons will surely be of the decorative variety.
The series, created by “Young Guns” writer John Fusco, follows the travels of the famous Italian merchant (played by Lorenzo Richelmy) who visited China in the 13th century and described his experiences there in detail to Europeans, opening up further trade between the two areas of the world.
“Marco Polo” is part of Netflix’s increasingly international outlook. It has 50 million subscribers in 40 countries and is pushing into Europe. Its new historical drama, with special appeal to those in Europe and Asia, looks to expand the company’s profile. “House of Cards’” Machiavellian maneuvering in the halls of Washington has limited appeal to those who never had to study U.S. government in high school.
“Marco Polo” was filmed in Malaysia, where a 50-acre section of jungle was cleared for a studio that re-creates the capital of Kublai Khan’s 13th century empire.
The 10-episode first season is to premiere on Netflix in December. Ben Silverman and Chris Grant of Electus are also executive producers on the series.
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