1st look at new Starz show that turns Da Vinci into a fantasy hero

After the failure of its first fantasy series, Camelot, Starz is returning to the genre with a new effort written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) that sets its sights on a young Leonardo da Vinci—with a fantasy twist, of course. And we've got our very first look here.

DaVinci's Demons stars Tom Riley (Monroe) as the 25-year-old Leonardo DaVinci. It's a historical fantasy that follows the untold story of one of the world's greatest geniuses, if not THE greatest genius of all time, as he lives his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence.

DaVinci is not only a brilliant artist, inventor, swordsman, lover (of course, it's Starz, after all), dreamer and idealist, but he struggles to live his life within the confines of his own reality and the time he lives in when he not only starts to see the future but also invents it.

Series showrunner David S. Goyer explained, on his fascinating production blog, why he was drawn to Leonardo da Vinci as a character:

Today, when many people imagine Da Vinci, they think of the old man depicted in his purported self-portrait. But he was so much more than that -- a vibrant, athletic, and attractive man, by most accounts. Possibly the greatest genius that ever lived. But also, a trickster, a remarkable rider and swordsman — a vegetarian in an age when that was unheard of. Even more intriguing, there seem to be 'missing years' in Da Vinci's life. Periods where there are conflicting accounts as to his whereabouts. Better yet, of the alleged 13,000 notebook pages authored by him, only about half of those are known to have survived.

So what happened in those missing years and missing pages? We know Da Vinci invented the helicopter, the machine gun, the tank, the diving suit—and many, many other remarkable devices. Surely, in those missing pages, there were many other remarkable devices that have been lost to time, right?

In a nutshell, those hidden years and pages comprise the DNA of the show. That's what I pitched to Starz and I'm grateful that they've indulged me on this crazy journey. I've been having the time of my life. There will be action, mystery, puzzles, conspiracies — huge, heaping chunks of Joseph Campbell mythology. It's a big swing, but I think we've managed to pull it off.

I'm calling it historical fantasy because there are definitely moments where we veer away from the facts. But not as many as you might think.

DaVinci's Demons also stars Laura Haddock (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Lara Pulver (True Blood, Sherlock, Robin Hood).

It's also the first project to get produced under a multiyear agreement between Starz and BBC Worldwide. The eight-episode first season will premiere on Starz in the U.S. in 2013.

Are you guys intrigued by the new project?

(via SFX)

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