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Netflix unwraps 10 Euro originals

Spanish series La Casa de Papel was coproduced by Netflix and Vancouver Media

Global streamer Netflix has announced 10 new European projects including a football-themed drama from Downton Abbey scribe Julian Fellowes and a comedy series exec produced by Idris Elba.

During its See What’s Next event in Rome the US SVoD service gave details of seven new pan-European series, including its first original from the Netherlands, two new documentary series and its first original Italian film, Rimetti a Noi i Nostri Debiti.

Among the commissions are six-part drama The English Game, produced by UK indie 42 Productions and written by Fellowes. The series focuses on the invention of football and how the key protagonists broke class divisions to establish the pastime as the world’s most popular sport.

Elsewhere, eight-part comedy Turn Up Charlie stars Idris Elba as a struggling DJ and perpetual bachelor who gets a last opportunity for stardom when he is made the nanny of his famous friend’s problem daughter. Elba exec produces alongside Gary Reich and Tristram Shapeero. Turn Up Charlie is coproduced by Reich’s Brown Eyed Boy Productions and Elba’s Green Door Pictures.

Produced by local prodco Pupkin, the as-yet-unnamed Dutch series follows privileged students in Amsterdam who unwittingly open a portal to a demonic world from the Dutch Golden Age.

Elsewhere, Netflix has commissioned its fifth French original, supernatural thriller Mortel, produced by Mandarin Television; German series The Wave, produced by Rat Pack Filmproduktion in association with Sony Pictures Television Germany; Fandango-produced Luna Nera from Italy; and the third instalment of Spanish series La Casa de Papel, coproduced by Netflix and Vancouver Media.

New documentary announcements include a return to true-crime for the streamer, with a series based on one of the biggest cold cases in French history, the murder of Grégory Villemin in 1984, and The Staircase, which follows the story of Michael Peterson, a crime novelist accused of killing his wife.

The new series are part of a 100-strong list of projects emanating from EMEA, part of Netflix’s drive to bring more local stories from around the world in 2018, after the announcement last year it was to invest US$8bn in original content this year.

“We are committed to being a voice for European entertainment, giving passionate local content creators a worldwide platform to share their vision, and offering consumers around the world unique and diverse stories they can discover and enjoy, anywhere, anytime and at the same time, no matter their place or language of origin. And this is just the beginning of our journey,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.

Alongside the new projects, the streamer also gave details of returning series, including season two of US wrestling comedy Glow, Stranger Things season three and season two of German science fiction thriller Dark.

“Our belief is that great storytelling transcends borders,” Sarandos added. “When stories from different countries, languages and cultures find a worldwide platform where the only limitation is the creator’s imagination, then unique yet universal stories emerge that are embraced by a global audience.”

In related news the streamer has also picked up historical medical series Charite from German distributor Global Screen.

The 6×45’ production will be available to Netflix subscribers in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Benelux, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and German-speaking Europe.

It was originally produced by Germany’s UFA Fiction for local pbcaster ARD/Das Erste where it aired last year.

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