Netflix has cancelled Marco Polo, its hit show which began in 2014. The series examined the early life of the titular explorer and his days with Kublai Kahn, ruler of the Mongol Empire in the 13th Century, and starred Lorenzo Richelmy and Benedict Wong as the two leads.
No specific reason is given for its cancellation, but it was a mutual decision made by Netflix and Marco Polo‘s producing company The Weinstein Co., and it can be assumed it had a lot to do with budgetary reasons. The first season was made for an estimated $90 million with around the same for its second, for a combined total of almost $200 million. Additionally, the series was filmed on location in Malaysia, another factor that kept costs up.
“We want to thank and are grateful to our partners on Marco Polo from the actors, whose performances were enthralling and top-notch; to the committed producers, including John Fusco, Dan Minahan, Patrick Macmanus, and their crew, who poured their hearts into the series; and of course Harvey, David and our friends at TWC, who were great collaborators from start to finish,” said Cindy Holland, Netflix VP of Original Content.
“Netflix has been incredible to give us the room to make a series with a cast true to every principle of diversity. It’s a bold network that allows you to do that and support us in the way that Netflix did,” said Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company. “As many people know, Asian history and the world of martial arts have fascinated me for all of my career. I’ve made many movies around these topics and this genre, and now this TV show I’m so proud of. John has been a great partner and we’re both fascinated to continue exploring this exciting period in history on future projects together.”
John Fusco, Marco Polo’s creator and executive producer, also put out a statement that hinted at a new project he and The Weinstein Co. are currently developing. “Harvey and I have a love for this kind of history–we had a fantastic cast, fantastic creative team and crew, and shooting in Malaysia was a privilege. We’re working on an idea right now in a similar space that we’re very excited about.”