Inside Netflix's Grandest Show Yet -- 'Marco Polo'

by Raphael Chestang 5:16 PM PDT, October 28, 2014
Playing Inside Netflix's Grandest Show Yet -- 'Marco Polo'

ET has a first look at what could be the newest binge-watching obsession on Netflix -- Marco Polo.

The R-rated drama based on Marco Polo's adventures in 13th-century China has it all -- politics, sex, and a hot lead actor, Lorenzo Richelmy.

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Lorenzo, 24, a rising young talent from Italy, was excited to show viewers a side of the famed explorer that they hadn't known before.

"Marco has this passion for people and culture, and he fell in love with this amazing world," said Lorenzo.

Show creator John Fusco (Young Guns) agreed, saying, "When people hear the name Marco Polo they tend to think of a map or explorer. Very few people know the true story of Marco Polo, and it's so much more compelling and exciting than the mythology."

The 10-hour series cost Netflix $90 million to produce, making it the most expensive series for the streamer to date. A large chunk of that hefty price tag came from shooting in three countries (Italy, Kazakhstan and Malaysia) and the 51 lavish sets that were built by a crew of 400 people.

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"Television audiences today are more discerning than ever before both in terms of character and the scope of the worlds those characters live in," producer Harvey Weinstein said in a release. "We are proud to present a series that rivals some of the most successful films we've ever made. Marco Polo is a figure all have heard of, but few truly know, and we are excited to introduce him to the world. And we are shooting all over the world. From the sweeping vistas of Kazakhstan, which act as backdrop for the wars and conquests of Kublai Khan, to the intimate moments within the alleys and canals of Marco's hometown of Venice, Italy, this is spectacle in the truest sense of the word."

Marco Polo, also starring Benedict Wong (Prometheus), Zhu Zhu (Cloud Atlas),Tom Wu (Scorpion King), Chin Han (The Dark Knight) and Rick Yune (Olympus Has Fallen), premieres Dec. 12 on Netflix. Check out the full trailer below.