Back in early 2020, when Disney+ launched in many countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa, Disney announced that it was aiming to create fifty local productions by 2024 as it continues to work with outstanding creators and premium producers as part of the company’s commitment to source, develop and produce original productions in Europe. It also even extended that target to sixty European originals by 2024.
During a recent interview with Deadline at the Edinburgh Television Festival, it was revealed that Disney has almost met its initial target, nearly a year ahead of schedule. The lineup includes many hit shows like “Wedding Season”, “Oussekine”, “Ed Sheeran: The Sum Of It All”, “Finding Michael”, and “Sam: A Saxon”.
Disney’s SVP, Original Content, Europe and Africa, Liam Keelan, confirmed:
“We’ve pretty much got there already,”
“Disney+ is “never going to be in that high-volume game. It’s more about quality.”
While there has been a general downturn in the amount of originals being commissioned across Europe and following Disney CEO Bob Iger’s comments earlier this year that they would be reducing the number of international originals being created for Disney+, as part of a major cost-cutting measure to ensure Disney+ becomes profitable by 2024. Though today, during the festival, Disney announced details on several new British originals, including “Playdate“, “In Vogue“, “Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story”, “World War Shoe“, and a second season of “Extraordinary“.
Liam spoke about how the difficult media economy has had a big impact on budgets, but that it has not impacted its commissioning strategy.
“It would be remiss of me to say we’re immune to the industry-wide problems [on] budgets and the effect that has had. We’re still absolutely looking for the best content working with the best talent.”
There are also many other new British Originals heading to our screens soon, including “Rivals”, “Shardlake” and “A Thousand Blows”. This is in addition to many other shows that are filmed in the UK, including the second season of “Loki” and “Andor”. With the expertise available in the UK, along with tax benefits, Disney, along with many other studios often creates shows and films internationally. Other recent examples of shows created in the UK, include “Secret Invasion”, “Welcome To Wrexham”, and “Willow”.
Under European rules, streaming services are required to have a percentage of its content created within Europe, which is why Disney licenses hundreds of titles specifically for European markets, to help comply with these rules.
Though Disney has now managed to almost hit its initial target of European originals, hopefully, this continues in the future, to offer a wider selection of content to its subscribers.
Which European Disney+ Original has been your favourite so far? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.