Riley to play Da Vinci in Starz’s ‘Demons’

BBC Worldwide Prods. co-produces historical fantasy

LONDON — British thesp Tom Riley will play Leonardo Da Vinci in the Starz skein “Da Vinci’s Demons.”

Show is being co-produced with BBC Worldwide Prods. and Riley’s role is the first casting for the series.

“Da Vinci’s Demons,” written by David S. Goyer, is billed as a historical fantasy and claims to recount the untold story of the great renaissance genius during his turbulent youth in Florence.

Goyer said, “Given that Da Vinci was the model for the Renaissance Man, these were incredibly large shoes to fill.

“Leonardo had to be smart, witty and incredibly confident without coming across as arrogant.

“He also had to be tormented, because, as a true visionary and polymath, he was ostracized for his ideas as much as he was celebrated.

“Tom came in and was able to effortlessly combine all of those elements. As soon as he finished his audition, we knew we’d found our man.”

Riley has been a regular at London’s Royal Court Theater, featuring in “The Vertical Hour” and “The Woman Before.”

On Broadway he was nominated by the Drama Desk Awards for his perf as Septimus Hodge in “Arcadia.”

Movie roles have included “A Few Days in September,” “I Want Candy” and “Happy Ever Afters.”

On TV he plays Laurence Shepherd in ITV hospital drama “Monroe.”