Series kicks off deal with BBC Worldwide Prods.

Starz has greenlit original adventure series “Da Vinci’s Demons” from BBC Worldwide Prods.

David Goyer (“Batman Begins”) wrote the pilot and will be showrunner for the series, which will begin production on its eight-episode order early next year, with a 2013 premiere targeted. “Demons” will be the first project in production under the multiyear agreement Starz signed with BBC Worldwide Prods. this summer.

“If modern day has Tony Stark, the Renaissance had da Vinci,” said Starz Media managing director Carmi Zlotnik. “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 Prods.”

The series will begin with da Vinci at age 25, already an artist, inventor, swordsman and romantic.

“Da Vinci was the original Renaissance man — a near-mythic figure that has worldwide appeal,” Goyer said. “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. ”

BBC Worldwide Prods. will handle worldwide distribution of the series, which Goyer will exec produce with BBC Worldwide Prods. senior scripted veep Julie Gardner and topper Jane Tranter.

“The young life of this incredibly complex and brilliant man has not yet been explored,” Tranter said. “We couldn’t be more passionate about bringing this story to U.S. viewers and international audiences.”Starz premiered its most recent original series, Kelsey Grammer starrer “Boss,” last week. “Spartacus: Vengeance” returns in January, followed by the premiere of “Magic City” in April.

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