Already noted for its original content, including the critically acclaimed House of Cards, streaming video leader Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) announced today it will soon begin filming its latest series, about "the epic adventures of Marco Polo," at Pinewood Studios in Malaysia. It's due to be available to Netflix members late this year. The company describes the show as "a kinetic tale of high politics, masterful manipulation and deadly warfare among clashing empires." It promises "astonishing martial arts, sexual intrigue, political skullduggery and spectacular battles."
Netflix will produce nine episodes of the new series, led by Academy Award-nominated directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning. Sandberg and Ronning earned a best foreign film Academy Award nomination for 2012's Kon-Tiki. Creator John Fusco and Game of Thrones director Dan Minahan will also participate in the new series as executive producers, Netflix said.
The Marco Polo project was originally developed for Starz, but the project was reportedly abandoned due to rising productions costs. As a result, the series was returned to the original producers, The Weinstein Company (TWC), who will also produce the series for Netflix. The new show should be available to Netflix subscribers "in late 2014."
According to comments made by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the Marco Polo show will likely be the first of many new, original series to air this year as Netflix expects to double last year's investment in new content. The continued emphasis on content follows the success of the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black, its most watched original program ever.