‘Medici: Masters of Florence’ Arrives on Netflix

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Richard Madden in Medici, Image: Big Light Productions
Richard Madden in Medici, Image: Big Light Productions

Binged on Black Mirror? Devoured Daredevil? Overdosed on OITNB? If you’ve asked Santa for a new show to dive into during the holidays, then Netflix may have just the thing you’re hoping for waiting under its proverbial tree–and you don’t even have to wait until Christmas Day!

Medici: Masters of Florence is the latest show from executive producer Frank Spotnitz, whose previous credits include The Man in The High Castle and The X-Files, and Nicholas Meyer, who wrote and directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Set in 15th century Florence, the shows explores the Medici dynasty–a wealthy Italian family who rose to political and later royal prominence thanks to the Medici bank, the largest in Europe at the time. The family would go on to inspire and help fund the Italian Renaissance, produce several Popes, and have incredible influence across Europe for hundreds of years.

Starring Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), Stuart Martin (Crossing Lines), and Dustin Hoffman, Medici was shot on location in Italy which adds to its amazing visual style, a hallmark of Spotnitz’s work. A look at the trailer provides us with a glimpse of a show which combines House of Cards‘ political drama, Game of Thrones‘ ambitious scope, and The Queen‘s dramatized take on real historical events. Personally, I can’t wait to dive into this world.

All eight episodes of Medici: Masters of Florence arrive on Netflix today (December 9th), and we spoke with Frank Spotnitz about the show.

Frank Spotnitz, Image: Big Light Productions
Frank Spotnitz, Image: Big Light Productions

GeekMom: Your new series is called Medici: Masters of Florence. What can you tell us about it?

Frank Spotnitz: This is a series about one of the most important families in the history of western civilization. The Medici not only helped fund the Renaissance in the 15th Century but their massive economic power as bankers to the pope changed the way people lived, creating economic opportunity for ordinary people when previously there was none. This series deals with all of that, but at its heart, it’s a family saga, a love story and a murder mystery about a son who has to sacrifice his dreams in order to fulfill the dreams of his father.

GM: What inspired you to tell this story?

FS: I was approached by Luca Bernabei at Lux Vide Productions in Rome, who said how personally meaningful this story was to him and his father, Ettore, who was one of the giants of post-war Italian television. He said he intended to bring the very best of Italian talent to the project and that we would shoot in the real locations in Tuscany and Florence. The ambition of it appealed to me enormously. And when I started reading and educating myself about the Medici, I saw this was a very timely and important story to tell about the sacrifices it took to build the civilization we all enjoy today.

GM: Medici is a fictionalized telling of historical events; have you taken many liberties with the history?

FS: We’ve taken one big liberty, which is asking the question “What if Gioivanni de Medici was murdered?” There is no evidence that he was–we couldn’t, in fact, determine how he died–but asking this question allows us to create a narrative drive and a way into the story that we thought would interest all audiences, not just those already interested in the Medici. We wanted to make a series that would appeal to people whether they liked historical dramas or not.

Medici Poster, Image: Big Light Productions
Medici Poster, Image: Big Light Productions

GM: The series has already premiered in Italy. How has it been received?

FS: The series was a huge success in Italy, averaging something like 7 million viewers every night, becoming the highest-rated program in two years and trending worldwide on social media each night it was shown. It was enormously gratifying.

GM: Medici will air on Netflix in the U.K. and the US as a Netflix Original. How did that relationship come about?

FS: They were one of several platforms we talked about, and we felt they were really the perfect home for us in the English-speaking world. Their audience reach is incredible, and we loved the idea that the series would be available for people to watch how they want, when they want, for a very long time.

GM: How has the experience been working with Netflix?

FS: Although we began talking to them some time ago, the deal was only announced recently, so we haven’t had a huge amount to do with each other. But we’re very excited to be partnering with them.

GM: Season two has already been confirmed; can you give us any clues about what’s coming next?

FS: We began this season with Cosimo and Lorenzo de Medici taking over the reins of the bank from their father, Giovanni. Next season, we’re going to skip ahead in time 20 years to the reign of Cosimo’s grandson, Lorenzo de Medici. He’s an incredible figure–a true Renaissance man–and it’s a hugely exciting and dramatic story.

GM: What are your hopes for the series when it is released in the States?

FS: I hope people will not only enjoy and be moved by the story, but see themselves and our world in the drama that Cosimo lives out.

GM: What can we look forward to from you in 2017?

FS: It’s another busy year! My company is called Big Light Productions and we’re based in London and Paris. In addition to Season 2 of Medici, we have a series called Ransom that premieres on CBS and Global in Canada on New Year’s Day, then will be broadcast on TF1 in France and RTL in Germany. We start filming soon on a comedy-drama series called The Indian Detective with Russell Peters. And, of course, The Man in the High Castle debuts its second season on Amazon next week.

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18 thoughts on “‘Medici: Masters of Florence’ Arrives on Netflix

  1. It would be fantastic if you could hear it! I have excellent speakers and even with the sound maxed, you have to strain to hear dialogue. Music is fine, the dialogue volume is so low. Turn it up, directors!!!

    1. Totally agree! I am only done with the first episode, I had to use subtitles after 10 minutes, which I hate using. Glad it was not just me not being able to hear them.

  2. I have spent the last several nights gorging on the Medici film from Netflix. It is incredible! Don’t give up on it if you think it a little slow at first, it is well worth it. The acting is very good, the scenery magnificent. I can’t wait till season 2. It will be interesting to see how the very handsome Cosimo de Medici ages.

    1. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the article, season 2 will be about Cosimo’s grandson. We may see Richard Madden in flashbacks, I suppose.

  3. just finished season 1 and can’t wit for season 2. Netflix needs more of these high quality shows instead of junk they spent big money promoting. like Marco polo or adam sandler movies, are such crap….they should sign exclusive deals with these directors or studios to get the rights, but not try to produce everything in house. their in house talent is uneven in the best case.

  4. Watched it in two days and can’t wait for season 2. I hope that you keep the series until the end of the story, not like you did with the Borgias.

  5. I finished binge-watching season 1 last night. Loved it! Probably the only thing I didn’t like about it was Dustin Hoffman. I guess he couldn’t be bothered to even try to ditch the Yankee accent.

  6. Extremely poor sound engineering, I”m not sure what the director was trying to achieve…in age of technological accomplishments, there is no reason for such inaudible sound “lack of” quality!?!

  7. I’ve tried various different sound settings and even tried playing through the firestick on a different TV, but the quality of sound is really bad at times. The background music and/or sound-effects drown out the actors. Such a shane because it’s otherwise a really good series.

  8. Totally agree on the sound. Ridiculously painful to try to hear what they are saying. I tried it on various tv’s and even projected through a computer with a good sound system. I am giving up after three episodes. Maybe they will adjust the audio and re-release it, but for now I am moving on to something else. Suggestions?

  9. I am enjoying the first two episodes. The story is engaging and I love Italian scenary and the history. I agree with others about the audio. It is a strain at times to hear the dialogue almost to the point of wanting to turn it off. I suspect it has something to do with the dubbing since it originally is an Italian production. I will try turning on the subtitles and hopefully that at least makes it easier to understand what they are saying.

  10. I’m not sure how I feel about this show. I watched the whole first season, I thought the acting was exemplary, but my overall impression of it is “meh.” The writing? the storytelling? the production value? What’s missing here?? For a full review of this and related shows/movies/books, take a peak inside Bathory’s Closet- link below.

  11. Loving it so far (on episode 2) but the dialogue sound is HORRID!! You have to turn up the sound so loud to hear voices and then the music/ background noise still over-powers the dialogue. We are trying to turn on subtitles but this is something the directors need to fix. It is horrible and unfortunate for such a good program.

  12. MEDICI has disappeared from my Netflix menu. I watched an episode last night, and then it just went away. I would have liked to go back and check on some things I may have missed, but it is nowhere on Netflix. I am enjoying the series…what happened?

  13. I recommended Medici – Masters of Florence to a friend who is a De Medici buff. When they couldn’t find it on Netflix it I was sure that they were doing something wrong. When I tried to find it again it seems to have vanished and doesn’t seem to be available for purchase either. Will Medici season 1 be available again before the release of season 2?

  14. I am doing a research project in the Medici family/ popes and I was really interested in the narrative of this tv show so does anyone know the sources that this production company used to get all the information??

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