One has to assume Universal is looking pointedly in the direction of WB’s Sherlock Holmes (and looking decidedly away from The Three Musketeers) as they snap up a spec script for another period adventure film, this one revolving around Leonardo Da Vinci.
Even though Da Vinci didn’t really extend his work from painting into serious military and vehicle invention until his middle and later years, the story is said to be about young Da Vinci’s comedy/action/adventure “quest to stop Renaissance Europe from returning to the Dark Ages.” I doubt this will be a sodomy drama taking place in Verrocchio’s Florence workshop, so they’ll be fudging history a bit. Again, the inspiration is clearly Sherlock Holmes here, which suggests this one will either get fast-tracked like whoah, or continue plodding through the system like normal, with its speed directly proportional to Game of Shadows opening weekend returns.
The news comes from Variety, who mentions David Goyer’s Showtime project that will bring us eight episodes worth of Da Vinci’s twenty-something adventures in 2013, but it fails to mention Warner Brothers’ own Leonardo Da Vinci And The Soldiers of Forever. That project was buzzing well over a year ago but since the trade doesn’t even bother to mention it, one wonders if it might have since fizzled out. Soldiers of Forever had Da Vinci as part of a secret society of demon hunters, so the tone and revisionist history of that one seemed all over the place. Perhaps it now sits waiting in the wings to see how audiences accept Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires before it unleashes the Renaissance Man on biblical threats. If that’s not the case and it is still moving along, then we could have Snow White-esque dueling Da Vinci projects for 2013.
Universal’s new spec script was written by unknown Jonny Kurzman, but is being overseen by Larry and Charles Gordon, who have a slew of action/comic book movie credits to their names, going back from Watchmen all the way to Die Hard.