Starz and BBC Worldwide Announce New Original Series “Da Vinci’s Demons”




Source: Starz,BBC Worldwide                                                                                                   October 25, 2011 

Starz Entertainment has green-lit a new original adventure series titled “Da Vinci’s Demons,” developed and produced by BBC Worldwide Productions.  This is the first project to enter production under the multi-year agreement Starz signed with BBC Worldwide Productions earlier this summer.

The series was jointly announced today by Starz Media Managing Director, Carmi Zlotnik and BBC Worldwide Productions Head, Jane Tranter.

Written by David S. Goyer, co-writer of blockbuster and critically-acclaimed films Batman BeginsThe Dark Knight and writer of the highly anticipated Man of Steel, the eight-episode series is scheduled to begin production in early-2012.

“Da Vinci’s Demons” is David Goyer’s historical fantasy, following the “untold” story of the world’s greatest genius during his raucous youth in Renaissance Florence.  Brash and brilliant, the twenty five-year old da Vinci is an artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist.  As a free thinker, with intellect and talents that are almost superhuman, he struggles to live within the confines of his own reality and time.  He begins to not only see the future, but invent it.

David Goyer commented, “Da Vinci was the original Renaissance man — a near-mythic figure that has world-wide appeal.  After working with characters like Batman and Superman, it made a strange kind of sense for me to dive into the facts and legends swirling around his origins.  This will be a show about secret histories, genius, madness, and all things profane.  And I’m particularly excited that I get to do it on premium cable, where the story can be as dark and challenging and irreverent as it deserves to be.  Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions have been nothing but supportive.”

Zlotnik said, “David has reimagined some of the most iconic superheroes of all time, and is again building an extraordinary prism through which to rediscover the world’s greatest genius and most mysterious man.  If modern day has Tony Stark, the Renaissance had da Vinci.  This is a story we believe will captivate the imaginations of audiences around the world and is the first of what we expect to be many productions with our talented partners at BBC Worldwide Productions.”

Jane Tranter, Head of BBC Worldwide Productions, said, “The young life of this incredibly complex and brilliant man has not yet been explored.  With David Goyer, whose imagination has created juggernaut and iconic theatrical features, coupled with the premium presence of Chris Albrecht, Carmi Zlotnik and their Starz team, we couldn’t be more passionate about bringing this story to U.S. viewers and international audiences.”

Starz is expected to air the worldwide broadcast premiere in 2013. BBC Worldwide will distribute the series internationally. David S. Goyer is showrunner. Julie Gardner will serve as Executive Producer, along with BBC Worldwide Productions’ Head Jane Tranter.

“Da Vinci’s Demons” is the latest piece of distinguished, exclusive original programming announced from Starz.  “Boss,” starring Kelsey Grammer and produced by Lionsgate debuted on October 21. “Spartacus: Vengeance,” season two of the breakout worldwide hit, returns in January 2012 and the much-anticipated “Magic City,” debuts in April 2012.

BBC Worldwide Productions started its scripted efforts when Jane Tranter, former Controller of BBC Fiction, arrived to run the company in January 2009. Shortly thereafter Julie Gardner, former Head of Drama, BBCWales, joined as SVP, Scripted, BBC Worldwide Productions. Tranter and Gardner have been responsible for a plethora of titles in their careers including “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood,” “Little Dorrit,” “Bleak House,” “Girl in a Café,” “Ashes to Ashes” and “State of Play.” “Torchwood: Miracle Day” was the first scripted series produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, recently wrapped its run on Starz. The company has over 20 scripted projects in sold development with various cable and network partners as well as 10 unscripted series currently in production.

Review – Vinylmation Park Starz Series 1 – Big Al & Jose

I was lucky enough to get my hands on Disney’s new Vinylmation Park Starz series 1.  The Park Starz series takes iconic Disneyland “characters” from all the parks and puts them into highly detailed vinyl form.  The series features 11 different figures along with a mystery chaser.  The figures included are, Figment (Journey Into Imagination), Goat and New Guinea Boy (it’s a small world), Bride (The Haunted Mansion), Robot Butler (Horizons), Ice Gator (Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park), Skeleton Pirate (Pirates Of The Caribbean), José (Enchanted Tiki Room), Big Al (Country Bear Jamboree), Yeti (Expedition Everest), Abraham Lincoln (Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln) and Giant Squid (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea).  The two tins I bought contained Big Al  from Country Bear Jamboree (a personal favorite) and José from the Enchanted Tiki Room.   José the parrot is very well detailed.  He has little holes on his sides,that you do not even see,for the perch he comes with to fit into.  The paint is wonderful and the colors are extremely vibrant.  He is quite heavy for such a small figure and is a really adorable collectible.  For those of you who really want this one and may carry around a scale when you shop (and really, who doesn’t?)  he weighs in at 6.1 ounces, tin and all.  As mentioned above I also got Big Al, which is one that I really wanted!  He, like José, is also very detailed.  Big Al comes equipped with a little yellow guitar and a lot of personality in his face.  He, in my opinion is one of the best looking in the series.  Again, like all the figures in the series the paint is perfect as is all the detail.  For those shoppers with their scales out, Big Al weighs a hefty 8.0 ounces!

I do not have one bad thing to say about these figures, they have detail in the way that only Disney can detail things.  From the heavy-duty tin to the paint and design of each figure.  The tins that the figures come in are display worthy themselves.  They are quite large, metal and have awesome graphics.  This series is available at various locations, however your best bet will be at one of the D-Street locations in either California and Florida.  I recommend getting these quickly, at the Anaheim California D-Street location they were selling very quickly with people buying both the individual figures as well as people buying by the case!  This series is sure to sell out extremely fast and once they are out, there are no more.

As a quick note to collectors both old and new, if you buy a figure at D-Street, open it and find that you don’t want that particular one they have a trading system in place.  You can exchange your figure once per day.  If you do exchange it, what you get is not in your control, so you may get something you like more but you may also get a figure you like less.  It’s a gamble but it’s also really fun and takes some of the sting out of the expensive price tag.

Release Date: October 21st 2011
Price: $18.95

Author note: These figures are are available now (released Friday, October 21st) at various locations including D-Street in California and Florida.