Marco Polo Season 2 will debut on Netflix July 1. Ahead of the premier, the movie streaming service released a trailer promising more action within the Mongol empire.

Familiar faces.

Returning to the series is Lorenzo Richelmy as the Venetian explorer Marco Polo. Kublai Khan is again played by Benedict Wong and Joan Chen is back as Empress Chabi. Michelle Yeoh, Zhu Zhu, Olivia Cheng, Claudia Kim, Rick Yune, Mahesh Jadu, and Uli Latukefu also star.

Sneak preview of Season 2.

Appearing for the first time in the series will be Gabriel Byrne as Pope Gregory X. The actor trained to be a priest when he was younger and was excited about his new role in Marco Polo.

“I’ve played the devil, played a priest but you know to play the Pope is an interesting segue.” Byrne told the Irish Examiner. “So I was very happy to be part of it.”

Return of the prince.

Chinese-Malaysian actor Remy Hii will be back in Season 2 as Prince Jingim, Kublai Khan’s son and rightful heir to the empire. Despite the hours of intense physical training and fight choreography required for filming, the Australian-born actor called the production “an incredibly rewarding process.”

Based on real events.

Set in 13th Century China, the docudrama follows the exploits of Marco Polo in the court of Kublai Khan. The young adventurer was abandoned by his father and left at the mercy of the Mongolian conqueror in a deal for safe passage on the infamous Silk Road.

Becomes a valuable asset.

Despite his imprisonment, Polo studies the ways of the Mongolian culture and acquires various skills in martial arts. Khan takes a liking to Polo and thinks the young man can help in the quest to conquer and rule the world.

Much anticipated new episodes.

Released in December 2014, the final episode of Season 1 ended with Khan’s enormous Mongolian army crushing Jia Sadao’s troops and overtaking the Chinese city of Xiangyang.

Initially, critics responded negatively to the first season, but fans were overwhelmed by its beautiful imagery and depiction of medieval Mongolia. Impressed with the tremendous success, Netflix executives authorized production of Season 2.

A high price to make.

According to The Telegraph, Marco Polo is one of Netflix’s most expensive original productions.

Reportedly, the first season cost nearly $90 million to make and filmed at various locations throughout Italy, Kazakhstan, and Malaysia. While figures for Season 2 are not available, the cost is estimated to exceed the previous budget.

Executive producers.

Marco Polo was produced by John Fusco and Dan Minahan. Other producers for the show included Patrick Macmanus, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, and Elizabeth Sarnoff.

Like Netflix’s original series Narcos, all 10 episodes of Marco Polo Season 2 will be released immediately to subscribers. If you want to catch up on the first season, there is still time to binge watch, as Season 1 is still available on the streaming service.

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