Netflix ventures into historical dramas with Marco Polo

Political intrigue, banana stands and… battle scenes? Netflix (S NFLX) has picked up yet another original series, and this time, the company is venturing deep into the historical drama territory: TV Guide is reporting that Netflix has bought the rights to Marco Polo, a historical drama that chronicles the adventures of the famous explorer in 13th-century China (hat tip to the Verge).
Marco Polo was originally commissioned by Starz, but the project apparently stalled at the cable network, in part because it turned out to be more challenging than anticipated to film the whole thing in China, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That’s why the movie will now likely be filmed elsewhere.
Netflix has been aggressively expanding its output of original content, beginning with the premiere of House of Cards in February. That was followed by the release of Hemlock Grove, Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said that he wants to double Netflix’s original show output in 2014, and the company’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos recently predicted that Netflix could eventually spend up to 15 percent of its content cash on originals.