Apart from the fact that he had an awesome swimming pool game named after him, I know next to nothing about the famous 13th century explorer. I'd wager that I won't know a whole lot about him even if I end up watching all ten episodes of the new show's first season (from the trailer, the focus of the show doesn't exactly look to be aiming for total historical accuracy), but I think I'm ok with that, considering the subject matter.
|Yeah, I see the similarity|
If the first trailer is any indication of the overall tone and scope of the show, I think Netflix may be trying to give HBO a run for it's money. Already, we've got some beautiful landscapes shots of Mongolia and China, naked people performing martial arts, armies on horseback, and a strange amount of gigantic doors being opened. I don't know about the rest of you, but they've easily piqued my interest. The show is created and written by John Fusco, who actually has experience with both horses and martial arts, having written Hidalgo, Sprit: Stallion of the Cimarron, The Forbidden Kingdom, and the upcoming Netflix sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Fusco has no prior experience with serialized television, but Netflix obviously has some faith in him, as they've already begun to work on another one of his scripts.
The cast is comprised mostly of unknown actors, including the very Italian Lorenzo Richelmy as the titular explorer. Benedict Wong (Prometheus, Kick Ass 2) plays the menacing Kublai Kahn, and actress Zhu Zhu (Cloud Atlas) plays the "love interest" Kokachin.
So if you've got nothing better to do on December 12th (apart from attending the premiere of Prerequisites in Textor 102 at 6pm, obviously) it may be worth your while to go on a good old fashioned Netflix binge. After all, nothing says 'happy holidays' like lots of sex, violence, and ancient Italian explorers.