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Disney+ has greenlit its first slate of European originals, including projects for its international brand Star, which launches in Europe later this month.
The 10 new originals unveiled, with projects spanning the genres drama, comedy and documentary from France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, come from creators and producers such as Juliette Howell (Brexit: The Uncivil War), Stephen Butchard (Baghdad Central), Quoc Dang Tran (Marianne) and Jörg Winger (Deutschland 83).
The new titles — revealed almost a year after Disney+ officially launched in Europe — take Disney a fifth of the way to hitting its target of commissioning 50 productions on the continent by 2024, a goal that was announced at the studio’s investor day in December. The Hollywood Reporter understands that Disney+ is also readying a slate of U.K. originals.
“These first 10 projects embody our ambitious vision for local production,” said Disney EMEA’s vp of original content, Liam Keelan, who led the new commissions alongside Diego Londono, EVP, media networks and content. “Our initial European offering underscores Disney’s regional commitment to outstanding and diverse talent, reflecting our desire to work with the very best storytellers in the industry.”
In addition to the announcements, Disney+ has committed further to its European promise with two new roles in Spain and Germany. Sofía Fábregas has been appointed as VP original productions, Iberia, and Benjamina Mirnik-Voges has been appointed as VP original productions, Germany, with both roles responsible for the development and production of local Disney-branded and Star-branded originals for the streamer, reporting into local leadership and Diego Londono, working in close collaboration with Liam Keelan. These two follow the previously confirmed appointment of Sean Doyle, who will serve as director of original production for unscripted general entertainment across Europe and joins from Channel 4.
The new titles are as follows
A four-part Star Original mini-series examining the terrible true events of December 5, 1986, that led to the death of a young student, Malik Oussekine. Centred on his family’s fight for justice, the series will explore the enormous impact this high-profile case had on French society. Oussekine is created and directed by Antoine Chevrollier and co-written by Faïza Guène, Julien Lilti and Cédric Ido.
From creator Quoc Dang Tran (Marianne, Nox) and co-written by Anastasia Heinzl, this is a Disney+ Original fantasy series following four teenagers, whose lives are turned upside down when a mysterious event propels them into parallel dimensions. They will do everything to understand what happened and try to get back home. This suspenseful, mystery adventure is produced by Empreinte Digitale (Raphaël Rocher and Eric Laroche) and Daïmôn Films (Quoc Dang Tran).
A Disney+ Original, this is a jubilant comedy that chronicles the life of a new stepfamily that meet up every weekend. But when the father gets into a relationship with a new partner, the weekends take on a whole new turn. Weekend Family is produced by by Groupe Elephant. Created by Baptiste Filleul (La Foret), it is written by Nour Bensalem, Géraldine de Margerie, Julie-Anna Grignon, Marion Carnel and Paul Madillo.
Soprano: Sing or Die
A Star Original documentary series offering exclusive access to one of France’s most popular recording artists as he and his crew get ready for a massive stadium tour in Summer 2022. The series charts Soprano and his friends’ history from their humble beginnings in Marseilles to their present-day success.
The Good Mothers
A mafia story told entirely from the women’s perspectives. A Star Original for Disney+, the series is executive produced by Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross for House Productions (Brexit: The Uncivil War) and Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa for Wildside, written by BAFTA Award-winning Stephen Butchard (Baghdad Central), and based on the gripping book by Foreign Press Association award-winning journalist Alex Perry. The series follows the shocking true story of three women who were born into the most deadly and wealthy of the Italian mafia clans and how they worked with a courageous female prosecutor to bring it down. They must fight their own families for the right to survive and build a new future for their children.
The show-within-a-show that already generated three seasons and a movie is returning to Star. Originally set “behind-the-scenes” of a fictional low-budget drama series The Eyes of the Heart, the brand-new season reunites the original crew. They soon discover the world of television has changed; social media, influencers and various streaming platforms dictate the law. How will our protagonists face in this new world? Boris is produced by The Apartment, a Fremantle Company.
The Ignorant Angels
A romantic drama inspired by the Italian box office hit and cultural sensation, The Ignorant Angels is a Star Original series from Turkish-Italian director Ferzan Ozpetek. When Antonia’s husband Massimo is killed in a car accident, she discovers that he has been having a same-sex affair with a man named Michele. She’s devastated at the news, but the straight-laced Antonia finds herself building an unexpected and moving friendship with Michele and his circle of misfit eccentrics. The Ignorant Angels is produced by R&C Productions.
Sam – A Saxon
From Big Window Productions, this is the real-life story of Samuel Meffire, East-Germany’s first black police officer. The series shows how Meffire became a media sensation and a symbol of modern society in the post-reunification 1990s. But just a few years later, he ended up behind bars himself, as an enemy of the state. Sam – A Saxon is produced by International Emmy Award-winner Jörg Winger (Deutschland 83) and Tyron Ricketts.
From up-and-coming producers Ayla Gottschlich and Aysel Yilmaz and head writer Ipek Zübert, this dark comedy follows the respectable matriarch of a German-Turkish family who accidentally becomes the head of a criminal underworld, and discovers she and her daughters have a talent for the business.
A sports documentary looking into one of the most famous soccer teams in the Netherlands. Produced by Lusus Media, this much-loved club has opened its doors to reveal what really happens off the pitch.
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