Disney+ unveils first UK scripted productions
April 15, 2021
By Nik Roseveare
The Walt Disney Company EMEA has announced its initial slate of scripted UK originals for Disney+, working with a number of creators and producers as part of the company’s commitment to source, develop and produce original productions in Europe.
Three UK productions have been confirmed for Disney+; one Disney-branded and two Star-branded originals. They follow the recent announcement of the UK’s first unscripted title Save Our Squad; a factual entertainment series that sees sporting icon David Beckham going back to his roots to mentor a struggling young grassroots team.
The new scripted projects increase the European Disney+ productions to 14, as part of the company’s ambition to create 50 productions in Europe by 2024.
The new UK original productions are:
The Ballad of Renegade Nell, a Disney-branded swashbuckling adventure series set in the 18th century, written by award-winning writer Sally Wainwright (Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley) and produced by Lookout Point (Gentleman Jack, A Suitable Boy). When she’s framed for murder, Nell Jackson is forced into a life of highway robbery, along with her two orphaned sisters Roxanne and George.
Star Original commission Culprits is a dark and comedic heist series from acclaimed film-maker J Blakeson (I Care A Lot, The Disappearance of Alice Creed). Culprits follows what happens after a heist, when the crew have gone their separate ways, but are being targeted by a killer one-by-one.
Extraordinary, a Star Original comedy series from new talent Emma Moran, follows Jen, a young, self-aware woman who lives in a world where everyone has a superpower… except her.
The UK commissions build on the ten previously announced European projects in February 2021, and the global slate confirmed at the Disney Investor Day event in December 2020.
Liam Keelan, Vice President Original Content, commented: “These three outstanding titles represent exactly where we want to be with our commissioning strategy for Disney and Star – projects of scale, originality and with top talent attached. This is just the beginning of a concerted push to bring the best ideas and storytellers to the service, appealing to audiences both here in the UK and across the globe.”
Johanna Devereaux, Director of Scripted, added: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be working with these exceptional writers and producers. The Walt Disney Company is deeply committed to supporting diverse, ambitious storytelling from renowned creators and brand new voices, and we are thrilled to welcome Sally, J, Emma, and their outstanding producing teams to Disney+.”