Aidan Turner from ‘Poldark’ Will Play Leonardo in Upcoming TV Series

Still mourning the end of Poldark? The beloved BBC/PBS drama ended in November 2019 after five seasons. But leading man Aidan Turner will soon be returning to television. He’s set to star in an upcoming series about the life and work of Leonardo DaVinci. 

Get a first look at Aidan Turner as Leonardo 

Viewers got a first look at Turner as Leonardo in a brief teaser released April 15 — on what would have been the artist’s 566th birthday. The clip doesn’t have any dialogue, but it does offer a few glimpses of the Irish actor as Leonardo, including a scene of him painting “The Last Supper.”  

Production on the eight-part series about the famed Renaissance artist and inventor began in December 2019 in Rome. Turner co-stars with Freddie Highmore, Matilda de Angelis, Giancarlo Giannini, and Robin Renucci. Frank Spotnitz, who was a writer and producer on shows such as The X-Files and The Man in the High Castle, created the series, along with Sherlock’s Steve Thompson. Leonardo is produced by Lux Vide and Rai Fiction. It will be co-produced and distributed internationally by Sony Pictures Television in association with France Television.

Leonardo should premiere next year, but we don’t yet know where it will air in the U.S.  

What to expect from ‘Leonardo’ 

Leonardo, who lived from 1452 to 1519, is one of the most famous and influential figures of the Italian Renaissance. Aside from creating some of the most recognized paintings in history, including “The Last Supper” and “Mona Lisa,” he also studied anatomy and was an inventor, engineer, and scientist who imagined designs for flying machines, a tank, machine gun, and diving suit, though many of his inventions existed only on paper. 

Leonardo the series “will reveal the mystery of one of the most fascinating and enigmatic characters in history: a man whose genius and work are known globally and yet whose true character remains an enticing secret,” according to a description from Lux Vide. 

Aside from Leonardo, the show will also feature the fictional character of Stefano Giraldi (Highmore). Giraldi is a Milanese officer of the law who suspects the artist might have been involved in a murder. We’ll also see Leonardo’s early years with his father Piero Da Vinci (Renucci), a notary, and his time as an apprentice in the workshop of artist Andrea del Verrochio (Giannini). 

This isn’t the first time Turner has played an artist 

Aidan Turner
Aidan Turner | Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

In Leonardo, Turner will be bringing to life one of the most celebrated artists in history. Fortunately, he has some experience portraying a famous painter.

In 2009, Turner starred in the six-part series Desperate Romantics, playing artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The drama focused on the personal and professional lives of the group of young British artists known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who challenged artistic conventions during the Victorian era. Desperate Romantics is streaming on Amazon Prime. 

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