‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ to Make Famous Renaissance Man an Action Hero

COMMENTARY | Leonardo Da Vinci has been the subject of speculative films and books for years, particularly “The Da Vinci Code,” a best-selling book that became a hit movie series starring Tom Hanks. Now we should be prepared for a Da Vinci TV series.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the BBC and the Starz cable channel is developing a fantasy historical eigh-episode epic, entitled “Da Vinci’s Demons.” It is described thus:

“‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ will also tell the story of the brash and brilliant 25-year-old artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist whose intellect and talents will be explored as he struggle to live within the confines of his own reality and time as he begins to see — and invent — the future.”

Da Vinci was a true Renaissance man in every sense of the word. He was an artist, an architect, a research scientist, and inventor, among many other things. It is not too much of a stretch to imagine him to be an action hero in his youth.

Da Vinci was almost certainly gay, or at the very least bi-sexual with gay leanings. If the series touches on this fact, and considering how the other historical series on STARZ, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” has dealt with sexuality it is likely, it could be ground-breaking. It is one thing to be a 15th century Tony Stark, it is quite another to have him eschew Pepper Potts for Rhodey.

The Renaissance has been an underutilized era for cinematic and television drama. That seems to be changing. “Da Vinci’s Demons” will join the somewhat more conventional “The Borgias,” soon to start its second season on Showtime.

The possibility for storylines, even without going into a fantasy element, is almost endless. At the time of the series, Da Vinci was in the service of the Medici family which ruled the city-state of Florence in the 1470s to 1490s. The various city states of Italy contended for power and position throughout the 15th century while vying to be centers of a revival of art and culture such as had not been seen since the fall of the Roman Empire. Da Vinci was in the middle of this fervor, creating great works of art, designing war machines that presaged technology of our own time, and pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. If he is depicted as also spying, getting into sword fights, and seducing lovers of both sexes, “Da Vinci’s Demons” may stretch history a bit, but it will surely be entertaining.

Sources: Starz Orders David Goyer’s ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ To Series, Lesley Goldberg, Hollywood Reporter, Oct 25, 2011

How do we know Leonardo was gay? Brookhaven National Laboratory

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *