The grand surroundings of Cheshire’s Arley Hall will inevitably recall ITV’s Downton Abbey, but the 19th cenrtury country house is the setting for Disney’s first-ever TV mini series filmed in the UK.
The four-part mystery adventure, called Evermoor, follows American teenager Tara Bailey who has been uprooted from the US and brought to the UK. In a sign of the strength of the British television industry, the movie will be the first made in the UK and broadcast on the flagship US Disney Channel.
Evermoor will tell the story of a 14-year-old girl, Tara Bailey, uprooted from her urban American home to move to rural England with her best-selling novelist mother and British stepfather, with the blended family of four children soon discovering all is not what it seems. It is a fictional village on the edge of creepy moors in the middle of England.
Disney will work with Lime Pictures which is the Bafta award-winning production company behind TOWIE and Hollyoaks. Tricia Wilber, chief marketing officer at The Walt Disney Company Europe and Middle East and Africa, said the film was the organisation’s most ambitious production yet.
David Levine, the company’s vice president for programming and production, said, “Evermoor is a hugely exciting project for the team, with a gripping story that I’m sure will captivate our global Disney Channel audience.”
Claire Poyser, managing director for Lime Pictures, said, “We are delighted to be the first independent production company in the UK to work with Disney on a live action movie to be aired worldwide including the US. Evermoor extends Lime’s reputation for producing fantastic children’s drama that is inspiring for the whole family.”
The film is set to be aired in 160 countries across the world from autumn this year. The cast has not been revealed yet. The Disney Channel helped to launch the careers of Selena Gomez and Zac Efron.
Rebecca Hodgson, head of drama for Lime Pictures, said, “The manor is beautiful on the outside but as they go in its gets more and more creepy and they discover they are not the only people living there. We pull the rug from under your feet you think you are going into this beautiful world but there are strange things going on.”
Filming will take place in Arley Hall, owned by Viscount Ashbrook and close to the village of Great Budworth, and a studio in a warehouse in Warrington. Although Disney has been producing content in the UK for many years in a variety of genres, it is the first live-action drama series for the Disney Channel shot in Britain.