‘The Hobbit’ & ‘Poldark’ Star Aidan Turner To Play Leonardo Da Vinci In Frank Spotnitz Series

The Hobbit and Poldark star Aidan Turner has been cast as Leonardo da Vinci in the drama series about the celebrated Renaissance artist’s life and work.

U.S. showrunner Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) and Brit writer Steve Thompson (Sherlock) are behind the eight-episode series, which has a working title Leonardo. The show will chart da Vinci’s achievements in various fields.

Directing will be Daniel Percival, who recently collaborated with Spotnitz on The Man in the High Castle. Producing are Lux Vide and Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions. Production is due to get underway later this year.

The English-language show also heralds from new co-production group The Alliance, formed by European pubcasters RAI from Italy, France Televisions and ZDF from Germany. RAI made the casting and production announcement today during the Rome Film Festival.

Born in Vinci, in the Italian region of Tuscany, Mona Lisa painter da Vinci is considered one of the world’s great polymaths. His career encompassed art, science, painting, engineering, anatomy and poetry.

Spotnitz said, “Capturing the character of Leonardo has been one of the most fascinating and exciting challenges of my career. It’s hard to fathom that a man this extraordinary could even have existed, let alone the human impulses that drove him to achieve such extraordinary things. It’s been enormously rewarding and an absolute joy collaborating with Steve Thompson, Daniel Percival and our partners at Lux Vide and RAI to bring Leonardo to life.”

Steve Thompson added, “Leonardo is a captivating genius and it has been a thrill to explore his work and his character. Each of his works has a uniquely fascinating story behind its creation. I am delighted to have collaborated with Frank and our creative team to tell his extraordinary story.”

As we revealed last month, Turner recently joined the cast of Terrence Malick’s new movie.

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