Of all the many bits of folksy wisdom about famed Venetian merchant Marco Polo, surely none is more famous than the old saying, “You can never have too many retellings of the Marco Polo story, especially if one of them is a lackluster misfire from a popular streaming service.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount is taking that advice to heart, as they’ve just cast Hayden Christensen in the title role of new feature film Marco Polo.
The actor, who is famous for his varied and nuanced turns in a variety of films and not for his bummer of a performance in two Star Wars prequels, is returning to headline a Hollywood studio film for the first time since 2008’s Jumpers. (Christensen was part of the ensemble in 2010’s Takers alongside Paul Walker and Matt Dillon.) A co-production between Paramount and China Film Group, the movie will be directed by Rob Cohen, who gave the world the first Fast & Furious movie, and then even more delightfully gave everyone this year’s The Boy Next Door. Filming Jennifer Lopez sleeping with the sexy-but-insane neighbor kid should be good practice for shooting Marco Polo, essentially the 13th-century version of that same idea, only replacing Jennifer Lopez with Hayden Christensen, and replacing the sexy-but-insane neighbor kid with a dearth of historical verisimilitude.