Egyptian multihyphenate Amr Waked (“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” “Lucy”) has joined the cast of “Marco Polo,” the TWC/Netflix TV series about the famed 13th Century explorer, currently shooting in Johor, Malaysia.
Waked, who is Egypt’s biggest international star, will play a loyal advisor to Mongol King Kublai Khan, and therefore a highly influential figure.
“Marco Polo” is set in China, amid a world “replete with astonishing martial arts, sexual intrigue, political skullduggery and spectacular battles,” according to the producers. Executive producers of the ten-episode series are John Fusco (“Young Guns,” “Hidalgo”), who is the show’s creator, and Harvey Weinstein. The directors for the first two hours are Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (“Kon-Tiki,” “Max Manus: Man of War”). Young Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy plays the title role.
Netflix has said it will make the entire series available to subscribers, in all territories worldwide, sometime late in 2014.
Waked will be soon be seen by international auds in Luc Besson’s sci-fi actioner “Lucy,” alongside Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, and South Korea’s Choi Min-sik (“Old Boy”). In “Lucy,” which Universal will release August 5 in the U.S., Waked plays a French cop.
Meanwhile, Waked’s production company ZAD is in post on Egyptian director Ibrahim El Batout’s Cairo-set organ trafficking thriller “The Cat,” which will ready to screen for international fest programmers in June.