Frank Spotnitz’s latest drama project Medici: Masters Of Florence is moving forward.
The period piece set during the Italian Renaissance has landed an eight episode straight-to-series order from Italian broadcaster RAI and is set to enter production later this month in Italy. Dustin Hoffman (Luck) and Richard Madden (Game Of Thrones) are attached to star.
Medici: Masters Of Florence tells the story of the Medici family, headed by Giovanni de’ Medici, who founded a powerful bank he entrusted to his sons Cosimo and Lorenzo. With his strategic thinking, Giovanni devised a way to circumvent The Pope’s ban on “usury,” ushering in a new era of financial freedom that led to the expansion of commerce throughout Europe. The family became one of the wealthiest financiers in Europe and a political dynasty in the 15th Century and beyond.
Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman, who starred on both seasons of HBO’s short-lived Luck, will play family patriarch Giovanni de’ Medici; and Richard Madden, best known for playing Robb Stark on Game Of Thrones, will play series lead Cosimo de’ Medici, Giovanni’s enterprising son. The series will be shot on location in Rome and Florence, with access to the the historic sites where many of the actual events occurred, including Palazzo Vecchio, the Basilica di San Lorenzo, and the Duomo.
The 1400s set drama was created by Frank Spotnitz and Star Trek’s Nicholas Meyer, while Francesca Gardiner, who worked extensively with Spotnitz on Hunted, Transporter and Crossing lines, helped pen the scripts. Big Light Productions and Lux Vide are producing with Frank Spotnitz, Matilde Bernabei and Luca Bernabei serving as executive producers. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan is attached to direct. Wild Bunch TV is handling global distribution and will launch Medici to international buyers a MIPCOM next month.
“The Medici came to power at a time of great social and economic inequality. They were great disrupters. Their banking practices led to the creation of a middle class, making them unimaginably wealthy”, Frank Spotnitz said in a statement. “The Medici in turn used their vast power and resources to challenge traditional thinking, ushering in a new era of revolutionary art and science such as the world had never seen. It’s a powerful story that resonates even now.”
“I feel certain that the Medici will prove to be a groundbreaking work, well beyond a period drama,” added Tinny Andreatta, Director of RAI Fiction. “While it is the story of a mythic period in Italy’s past, the Renaissance in Florence, it will be seen through the filter of a contemporary lens, with the exciting contributions of both Italian and international artistic talents, and filmed in the unsurpassed beauty of Tuscany. The series has great international appeal and we hope it will open up a new era of creative co-productions.”