Disney+ has unveiled an eclectic slate of five new U.K. unscripted originals spanning a broad range of talent and topics from Keanu Reeves to arguably the most talked about U.K. trial in years.
Wagatha Christie (working title), produced by Lorton Street Entertainment in association with Dorothy Street Pictures, will be uncovering one of the biggest tabloid news stories in Britain over the last decade, revealing how Coleen Rooney, wife of soccer star Wayne Rooney, turned amateur sleuth to reveal who had been leaking private stories to the press, and the high-profile defamation case brought against her by fellow footballer’s wife Rebekah Vardy. In something of a coup for Disney+, the three-part series will be told through exclusive access to Rooney, alongside interviews with family, friends and key players involved in the trial.
In Brawn: The One Pound Formula 1 Team (working title, Keanu Reeves will tell the story of how, in 2009, the understaffed, underfinanced and independent Brawn GP team won the World Championship, a sporting miracle that shook the F1 world. With contributions from Ross Brawn and driver Jenson Button, the four-part doc series — narrated by Reeves, who will also conduct the interviews — is being developed and produced by showrunner Simon Hammerson and directed by Daryl Goodrich. Executive producers are Reeves, Sean Doyle and Neil Duncanson for North One.
“I am honored to be a part of telling the incredible story of Brawn GP and their remarkable F1 Championship Season in 2009 with those who lived it in this four-part documentary series,” said Reeves. “It has been great to have the support of Disney+ and producing partnership with North One to bring this story to life.”
From Vogue Studios and Raw (The Tinder Swindler, Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99) comes In Vogue: The 1990s, telling the inside story of the fashion that defined a decade with access to Vogue’s top editors, including Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful and featuring a cast of iconic figures from the world of 90s fashion, music and film. In Vogue: The 1990s will be executive produced for Raw by Liesel Evans and Sam Anthony and executive produced for Condé Nast Entertainment by Sarah Amos, Mark Guiducci, and Helen Estabrook.
“The ’90s was such an exciting and important decade for fashion. It was the period when fashion entered the mainstream — when it became inescapable, culturally relevant and full of iconoclasm and expression and difference,” said Wintour. “The personalities were larger than life too. This series will capture all of that and I’m thrilled it’s coming to Disney+.”
Packing some Oscar and Emmy-winning prestige to the mix, Camden comes from Lightbox, the production company founded by Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man, Man on Wire) and Jonathan Chinn (LA 92, Tina), and Asif Kapadia (Amy). The four-part doc series will explore how a small corner of North London had a major impact on music as we know it, with access to some of the biggest stars in the world whose lives were changed forever by Camden. Kapadia is the series’ director, while executive producers are Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn and Suzanne Lavery for Lightbox and Nick Shymansky, Jasper Waller-Bridge and Ben Friedman for Day One Pictures.
“I’m a born and bred North Londoner and Camden has been a key part of my life; I’ve had all sorts of experiences there: good, great…and edgy,” said Kapadia. “This series celebrates an ever-evolving music scene in a unique place which has always been at the forefront of counterculture and has a musical legacy to match anywhere in the world. I am delighted to be working with Lightbox and Day One and we are hugely excited that Disney+ has given us a global platform for to tell this special story.”
In Finding Michael, from Banijay UK’s Shine TV, Spencer Matthews — who rose to fame on British television thanks to scripted reality show Made in Chelsea — will follow in the footstep of his brother Michael Matthews, who in 1999 became the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest, only to disappear just three hours after he reached the summit, his body never having been recovered. The documentary was developed by Shine TV with The Natural Studios (a joint venture with Banijay) attached as co-producers. Executive producers are Jon Swain and Tom Hutchings for Shine TV; Bear Grylls and Delbert Shoopman for The Natural Studios. Tom Beard (Apple TV’s The Year Earth Changed) directs.
All five projects were commissioned by Sean Doyle, director of unscripted content EMEA for Disney+, which across EMEA alone has committed to create 60 local productions by 2024.
Keanu Reeves-Fronted Formula 1 Series, Vogue, Wagatha Christie Trial and Asif Kapadia on New Disney+ U.K. Doc Slate