Leonardo gets swashbuckling makeover in TV's "Da Vinci's Demons"

Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:23am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Take a 15th century Italian genius, invent his mysterious youth, throw in some superhero action and you've got "Da Vinci's Demons" - a new TV series that portrays the man who painted the "Mona Lisa" like he's never been seen before.

Forget the artist seen in his own self-portrait as a wizened, bearded old man.

The Leonardo of "Da Vinci's Demons" is a fearless, reckless, swashbuckling 25-year-old, who sports 21st century hair gel and an impressive six-pack.

The eight-episode drama, premiering on U.S. cable channel Starz on Friday and around the world later this month, follows the "untold story" of the original Renaissance Man through the eyes of David Goyer, one of the developers of the "Call of Duty" hit videogame franchise.

"I had always had a fascination with da Vinci and I was amazed there had never been a movie specifically about him or a TV show, which strikes me as kind of crazy," Goyer told Reuters.

"I don't know anyone who has ever achieved or mastered all the things that he did. And he was a colorful character. His life was filled with a lot of controversy, which is always good," Goyer said.

And, in a gift for any creative mind, there are few records of what da Vinci was doing, or where he was, between the ages of 28 and 32.

"Those gaps give a creator more permission to invent things. It's a historical fantasy that has a certain element of magical realism to it.   Continued...

Actor Tom Riley portrays inventor Leonard Da Vinci in a scene from the Starz cable channels new series "Da Vinci's Demons" in this undated publicity photograph released to Reuters April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Grace Cromey-Hawke/Courtesy of Starz/Handout