Starz CEO Chris Albrecht has provided an update on the grounded Torchwood franchise, as well as the performance of Spartacus: Vengeance and the development of Da Vinci’s Demons and Marco Polo. Read on for all that, and news of Laura Holden‘s casting in Da Vinci’s Demons.
Speaking to Multichannel News, Albrecht reiterated Torchwood‘s state of limbo:
You know, Russell [Davies] is so busy. Obviously, we’re in touch with the BBC all the time. They are our partners on DaVinci’s Demons and the Harem project that you just mentioned. We told them, we stand by ready for any news, but I think it would be a while before Russell came back to Torchwood.
On the domestic performance of Spartacus: Vengeance, which airs its finale this Friday:
We’re pleased that people are watching. Spartacus: Vengeance was a risk in a certain respect. We made the decision to not only recast the lead character, but the title. That’s fairly unusual in television. We’re really happy the audience didn’t just stay with us, but came back.
On how Da Vinci’s Demons and Marco Polo are coming along:
DaVinci’s Demons is in preproduction. We’re writing; we’re casting. We’ve set a few roles. I think production is scheduled to start in mid-June or beginning of July. I don’t remember off the top of my head — I get confused because the dates all move around. It’s a big project. We’re shooting that in the U.K.
What’s even a tougher task is what Electus and The Weinstein Co. have taken on with Marco Polo. We have a team in China right now doing a scout, talking to Chinese production companies there who would be the partners in helping to execute the show. The writing is going great on that. We’ve hired some casting directors. We’re going to start the search for the actors. There are obviously a lot of non-Caucasian roles, a lot of Asian actors. We’re going to do a broad search in the U.S., U.K. and Asia as well.
DaVinci will be on in 2013, probably third quarter. We’re not sure about Marco Polo yet.
In further Da Vinci’s Demons news, British actress Laura Haddock will co-star in the series, described as the “untold” story of the world’s greatest genius Leonardo da Vinci (Tom Riley) during his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence. Haddock will play Lucrezia Donati, the mistress of Lorenzo Medici and da Vinci’s lover.