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Disney+ unveils first UK scripted originals

Sally Wainwright at Content London in 2019

The Walt Disney Company in EMEA has unveiled a slate of UK original scripted titles for streaming service Disney+, including projects from Sally Wainwright, Faith Penhale and Sally Woodward Gentle.

One Disney-branded series and two originals for the service’s adult-skewing Star brand have been greenlit.

The Ballad of Renegade Nell, a Disney-branded period adventure series set in the 18th century, is written by Wainwright (Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley) and produced by Lookout Point (Gentleman Jack, A Suitable Boy).

Faith Penhale

The plot follows a woman framed for murder and forced into a life of highway robbery with her orphaned sisters. Wainwright exec produces alongside Faith Penhale and Will Johnston from BBC Studios-backed Lookout Point.

Star Original commission Culprits is described as a dark and funny heist series from filmmaker J Blakeson (I Care a Lot, The Disappearance of Alice Creed).

The plot follows what happens after a heist, when the crew have gone their separate ways but are being targeted by a killer one by one. It is exec produced by Stephen Garrett (The Undoing, The Night Manager) and produced by Morenike Williams (Killing Eve), with Character 7 as the production company.

Extraordinary, a second Star Original, is comedy series from new talent Emma Moran. It follows Jen, a self-aware young woman who lives in a world where everyone has a superpower except her.

From Sid Gentle Films, the series is executive produced by Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris (Killing Eve) and Charles Dawson, and created by Moran.

These latest commissions follow this week’s announcement of Disney+’s first unscripted UK show Save Our Squad, fronted by former England football captain David Beckham.

Liam Keelan, VP of original content for Disney in Europe and Africa, said: “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.”

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