Disney+ really wants your subscription money – and it isn’t just relying on its existing library of films and TV shows to convince you to part with it – it's emarking on a European tour.
The streaming platform has committed to sourcing, developing and producing 50 European series and movies by 2024, and has just announced the first batch of 10 that sound anything but Mickey Mouse. The projects from France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands will appear on either the main Disney+ hub or its forthcoming Star “general entertainment” channel, joining new US-produced Star Wars, Marvel and Disney series and movies as Disney+ seeks to build itself into a diverse streaming platform to rival Netflix.
So what can we expect from this European streaming invasion? Here are our top picks from each country.
Parallels (France, Disney+)
Landing straight on the main Disney+ channel, this six-part fantasy series sees four young friends living on the French-Swiss border pitched helplessly into parallel dimensions by a mysterious event sparked off by the nearby Large Hadron Collider. Can they get back to their home reality before their futures are forever changed? The series will be written and produced by Quoc Dang Tran, who previously worked on Netflix’s horror series Marianne.
Sam - A Saxon (Germany, Star)
This drama series tells the true story of Samuel Meffire, East Germany’s first black police officer. Having become a celebrity and a symbol of modern Germany after its reunification, he was later branded an enemy of the state. The series will be produced by Jörg Winger, the Emmy Award-winning co-creator of Deutschland 83.
The Good Mothers (Italy, Star)
Also based on real world events, this six-part series takes a look at the Italian mafia from a new perspective: it’s focussed entirely on the lives of three women inside the ‘Ndrangheta, one of the most influential crime families in the country, and how they set out to tear it down from within. The series is based on the book by Alex Perry and written by Stephen Butchard, who has previously worked on historical saga The Last Kingdom.
Feyenoord Rotterdam (Netherlands, Star)
This eight-part fly-on-the-wall documentary offers a glimpse behind the scenes at legendary Dutch football club Feyenoord. If you loved the backroom dramatics of Amazon’s All or Nothing or Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Til I Die, it should be right up your alley.
A word of warning if you’re getting excited about these new shows: they are all some way off, having only been announced this week. For now, why not find something else to stream with our guide: The 15 best things to watch on Disney+?