NYCC 2013 – Da Vinci’s Demons: Season 2 Revelations

The Da Vinci’s Demons panel at New York Comic Con started off with a trailer for the upcoming second season. In it, we are offered glimpses of a young da Vinci dealing with the consequences of his self-described failures from the first season. He sets off to a hidden world (the world of the Inca) to search for an ancient wisdom that will end wars forever. “Where destiny ends, his journey begins,” reads the tagline at the end, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats, curious to hear what the talent will say in regards to this intriguing new adventure.

According to the press release from STARZ:

Season two of “Da Vinci’s Demons” finds Florence thrown into chaos in the wake of the Pazzi conspiracy and Leonardo da Vinci (Tom Riley) must push the limits of his mind and body to defend the city against the forces of Rome. While the Medicis go to unthinkable lengths to deal with new threats, da Vinci continues on his quest to find the fabled Book of Leaves and uncover the secret history of his mother.  He’ll come to realize that he has lethal competition in his quest — new enemies who may be even worse than the forces of Pope Sixtus.  His search will take him to faraway lands and force him to reevaluate everything he knew about the world and his own history.

STARZ greenlit “Da Vinci’s Demons” for a second season following its record-setting first season weekend debut on STARZ on Friday, April 12. The historical fantasy created by David S. Goyer and produced by Adjacent Productions, follows the ‘untold’ story of the world’s greatest genius, Leonardo da Vinci, during his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence.  Outside of the United States and English-speaking Canada, “Da Vinci’s Demons” is distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide. Fox International Channels (FIC) acquired the first season of the series and premiered it to audiences in 120 countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa following Starz’s exclusive premiere in the U.S.

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Goyer started the panel off telling the audience about the level of research that has gone into the show to ensure historical accuracy wherever possible. He has read every page of Leonardo da Vinci’s journal, not to mention that the characters are based on actual people who lived in da Vinci’s time. Lucrezia Donati (Laura Haddock, Upstairs Downstairs, How Not to Live Your Life) is one such character who is intertwined with the character of da Vinci in the show. At the end of the first season, she learns information that causes her to feel betrayed, and she has to struggle to separate that from what she feels for da Vinci. For him, however, she is both dangerous and appealing. It is unclear whether audiences will see them together in the second season, but Goyer hinted that it is a possibility. What will be seen in the second season, though, is her struggle with her feelings about her father and her insecurities with that relationship. There will be a flashback episode where audiences will see how it is that she and her father came to the place they did in the first season. Haddock said she enjoyed the opportunity to explore her character’s past (seven or eight years previous to the show’s present day).

Girolamo Riario, whose goals have conflicted with those of da Vinci, has his own demons to tackle, according to Blake Ritson (World Without End, Upstairs Downstairs) the actor who portrays him. Ritson describes Riario as a religious fundamentalist with “daddy issues.” He has a conflicted relationship with the Pope, his father, that he has not fully dealt with yet. In addition, he has mixed feelings about the establishment he finds himself entrenched in.

Greg Chillin plays Zoroaster, the “comic foil” to da Vinci’s character. Chillin displayed a comedic personality in the panel that compliments his character’s. Some of the women in the audience screamed for him, even louder still when he teased them about taking off his jacket. And take off his jacket, he did, to much hooting and hollering. The moderator described Zoroaster as the Watson to da Vinci’s Sherlock, and Chillin agreed. He said that Zoroaster continually gives and gives to his friend da Vinci, but reveals that this friendship will be tested during the upcoming season.

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Carolina Guerra joins the cast as the High Priestess of the Inca, making her second-in-command only after the King. This places her in the position of being the most powerful woman in the Inca hierarchy. Guerra likes that she will be able to add a Latin American influence to the show, as the characters travel to Machu Picchu in their search for the Vault of Heaven and the Book of Leaves.

Riley told fans on Friday about his process of relating to his character. It is not possible to be the smartest man in the world, so he had to find the human connections with da Vinci. Da Vinci had this desperate struggle for perfectionism, while feeling like an outsider. He is eccentric, and not always the kindest of people, but Riley tries to find that balance within da Vinci.

As da Vinci met “historical” figures in the first season (e.g. Dracula), he will also encounter well-known people from history in the second season. Goyer also told one very perceptive fan that there may well be some consequence of da Vinci’s drug use seen in the second season, either through withdrawal effects or his use of a new substance. There is an episode called “The Rope of the Dead” where this will be especially important. The most shocking news from Goyer was the revelation that not everyone will return home at the conclusion of their trip to Machu Picchu, met with gasps from the fans present. Those who will return home will see that Florence and Italy are much changed after their absence. Goyer said that the story will split into four different strands ,and by the end of the season these strands will be woven back together. It sounds like fans will have much to look forward to in the next season!