EXCLUSIVE: Disney+ has put into development Rhona Who Lives by the River, an animated musical series from Suburgatory creator Emily Kapnek, with Jumanji and Avengers star Karen Gillan attached to voice the titular character and executive produce. Four-time Oscar nominee Danny Elfman will create and oversee music on the project and also will executive produce. The project hails from 20th Television Animation. Stoopid Buddy Stoodios will provide animation.
Created by Kapnek, Rhona Who Lives by the River follows the adventures of Rhona #3 (Gillan), the third-most-interesting Rhona in a small Scottish town, whose life is utterly dull. But after a freak clootie well accident results in bacterial pinkeye and the ability to make her own wishes come true, Rhona’s star finally is on the rise,
Kapnek, who is under an overall deal with ABC Signature, will serve as showrunner and executive producer with Gillan and Elfman. 20th Television Animation is the studio.
“We’re so pleased that Emily and Karen chose Disney Branded as their home,” said Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television. “They’re exceptional at creating characters that embody powerful moments of anticipation, humor, and warmth. Along with Danny, a music visionary who sees all the magic that’s possible in a story, we know that we are in great hands.”
Kapnek has created and executive produced five series including three ABC comedies: Suburgatory, which ran for three seasons; Selfie; and most recently Splitting Up Together, which ran for two seasons. She also has worked on such series as NBC’s Parks and Recreation and HBO’s Hung. Kapnek is repped by UTA and Tara Kole.
Gillan stars in Navot Papushado’s action thriller Gunpowder Milkshake opposite Lena Headey, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh for Netflix. She might be best known for her roles as Nebula in Marvel’s Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises as well as Ruby Roundhouse in the Jumanji films. Upcoming, she can be seen starring in the sci-fi thriller Dual, alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Aaron Paul; Shelly, an action-comedy co-starring Awkwafina; Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder; and James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gillan is repped by UTA, Stacey O’Neil at Linden Entertainment, Michael Duff at Maison 2 in the UK, and Darren Trattner.
Prolific composer Elfman has collaborated with such directors as Tim Burton, Gus Van Sant, Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, Rob Minkoff, Guillermo del Toro, Brian De Palma, James Ponsoldt and David O’ Russell. He has scored more than 100 films including the Oscar-nominated Milk, Good Will Hunting, Big Fish and Men in Black, along with Edward Scissorhands, Batman, To Die For, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and many more. In addition to his film work, Elfman wrote the iconic theme music for TV series The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives. The former Oingo Boingo frontman most recently scored the Netflix/20th Century Studios’ crime drama feature The Woman in the Window starring Amy Adams and Gary Oldman. Elfman repped by Kraft Engel Management.
Stoopid Buddy Stoodios is repped by UTA.