Watch the Trailer for “Da Vinci’s Demons,” a New TV Show About Leonardo’s Wild Younger Years

It should come as no surprise that the forthcoming Starz series “Da Vinci’s Demons,” which premieres on the cable channel on April 12, was created by the co-writer of “The Dark Knight Rises” David S. Goyer, because judging by the show’s trailer (embedded below) it portrays the Florentine artist and inventor as something between a superhero, a Holmesian detective, and his namesake Ninja Turtle.

In the vein of the short-lived “Young Indiana Jones Chronicles,” the premise of “Da Vinci’s Demons” seems to be to follow the young artist’s adventures. Going by the outrageous trailer these seem to involve creating a magical steampunk bird, furiously sketching diagrams for inventions and then throwing them dramatically into a fireplace, fleeing from sword-wielding aggressors in a Jack Sparrovian fashion, manufacturing weapons for the pope, and bedding babes with James Bond-like frequency.

The show, in which Leonardo is played by Tom Riley — who co-starred alongside Carmen Electra in the 2007 porn industry satire “I Want Candy” — sets said adventures within the larger political conflict between the decadent and sorcery-loving Medicis and the puritanical papacy. Its title, an SEO-baiting mashup of the titles of Dan Brown‘s two Leonardo-related novels — “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons” — hints at some dark secret haunting the young artist. What that might be, aside from a fear of never getting his work into the Louvre‘s permanent collection, is anybody’s guess.


— Benjamin Sutton