The largest slate of Australian original productions ever will be coming to Disney Plus, which will release throughout 2022 and 2023.
The Walt Disney Company of Australia and New Zealand announced a new pack of nine Australian originals, both movies, and series. These new properties form the largest order of local content commissions and acquisitions for Disney Plus.
The commission includes three scripted drama series, The Clearing, The Artful Dodger, and Last Days of the Space Age; four documentary series, Matildas: The World at Our Feet, Shipwreck Hunters Australia, Chasing Waves, Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW; and two lifestyle/factual general entertainment series Donna Hay Christmas and What’s Your Toy Story?.
Kylie Watson-Wheeler, senior VP and MD of The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand talked to Variety about what the scale of this order meant to them and why it shows their commitment to developing further local content.
“It was important to us to have that scale to share so we could demonstrate to the marketplace that we are truly serious in this space.”
Watson-Wheeler confirmed that Disney is working on 15 other titles local titles on top of the first nine. Although, the time frame for the second wave is still a question mark.
“Our second wave is already taking great shape with many more shows including original concepts from New Zealand. The opportunities are endless, particularly in young adult, comedy, and romcoms which our audiences love.”
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The first wave includes films that look to expand upon Disney Plus’ more adult-themed content. Series such as The Clearing look to do exactly that, as the eight-episode show features elements of psychological drama and is adapted from a J.P. Pomare novel which was inspired by a real-life Australian cult. The series will star Australian actors such as Teresa Palmer, Miranda Otto, and Guy Pearce.