The Real Wagatha Story’ as Top Unscripted U.K. Series : Disney EMEA Boss Jan Koeppen Restates Commitment to Theatrical Distribution, Cites ‘Coleen Rooney

Jan Koeppen, president of The Walt Disney Company EMEA, has restated the company’s commitment to cinemas, speaking of the company’s “belief in the importance of theatrical distribution

Published Time: 04.06.2024 - 13:31:25 Modified Time: 04.06.2024 - 13:31:25

Jan Koeppen, president of The Walt Disney Company EMEA, has restated the company’s commitment to cinemas, speaking of the company’s “belief in the importance of theatrical distribution.”

“Everyone at Disney loves movies, and we love to make them big,” he said.

The Disney EMEA boss was speaking at the Deloitte and Enders Analysis Media & Telecoms 2024 and Beyond Conference in London on Tuesday morning, where he touched on the breadth of Disney’s business, from theatrical to linear. Using “The Lion King” as an example, he noted that since the animated film’s debut 30 years ago it has spawned stage shows, theme park experiences, consumer products, is available on Disney+ and has a spin-off, “Mufasa,” coming out this winter. “We believe strongly that the breadth of our business is a key source of advantage,” he said. “It brings strength, resilience and opportunity.”

Related Stories

Unsurprisingly, Koeppen also spent some time talking about Disney+, which launched four years ago and has now been rolled out in 85 countries across EMEA. Of the tens of millions who subscribe in EMEA, he said, half are households without children. Of the shows that have made the most impact in EMEA, there is “Shōgun,” which is the most viewed general entertainment series premiere ever in the region while U.K. unscripted original “Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story” is the second most-watched unscripted series in the U.K. after “The Kardashians.”

Koeppen also cited Disney’s footprint in the U.K., pointing to productions such as the u -

pcoming “Deadpool & Wolverine,” which was shot at Pinewood Studios just outside London, as an example of the “world-class storytelling” taking place in the country. He added that the film is one of around 20 movies and TV shows that have been filmed at Pinewood over the last five years.

“Whenever I’m at Pinewood, what makes the biggest impression on me is the scale of the operation, the diversity of skills,” the EMEA exec said. “We’re talking about thousands of people, all part of the wider ecosystem. And on every single production, there are trainees getting experience to begin their careers in film and TV; all part of Disney’s long-term commitment to the U.K.”

Disney has been operating in the U.K. for over 75 years, he noted. “Our long and deep connection with the UK is something that we’re very proud of,” Koeppen said.

Koeppen cited the recently launched Sally Wainwright series “Renegade Nell” and upcoming Jilly Cooper adaptation “Rivals” as U.K. drama series that are also making an impact.

Koeppen was appointed president of Disney EMEA in 2019, where his remit includes everything from Disney+ and films to licensing and local originals. He was previously president of Fox Networks Group for Europe and Africa

More from Variety

Most Popular

Must Read

Sign Up for Variety Newsletters

A Variety and iHeartRadio Podcast

More From Our Brands

ad To help keep your account secure, please log-in again. You are no longer onsite at your organization. Please log in. For assistance, contact your corporate administrator.