EXCLUSIVE: Stephanie Beatriz and Costa Ronin are fronting a sci-fi series for online storytelling platform StoryCo, with Halo showrunner Kyle Killen attached.
In The Disco Ball, Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine Nine, Encanto) will play Captain Alma Cooke, who leads a team of astronauts thrust into a journey to save the multiverse. Ronin (The Americans, Homeland) also stars, with Lionel Boyce (The Bear), Baron Ryan and Teddy Sears (The Flash, Masters of Sex) in supporting roles.
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The first chapter launches today as the debut project on StoryCo, a collaborative online platform that allows creatives to create multimedia stories and build communities around them. A multi-chapter arc will unfold over the next several months, with creators from around the world collaborating with Killen and others to expand and build on the story.
The Disco Ball will be produced through in part through ‘Co/Create’ initiatives, where artists, musicians, actors, producers, writers and other creatives are invited to key elements of the story alongside the core team. That work is integrated into the main narrative and rewarded with upfront compensation and a share of future profits through StoryCo’s ‘Profit Points’ system, which rewards meaningful contributions.
So far, the backstory of the antagonist was illustrated by Nigerian art student Okereafor Aanu, a supplementary character was developed by New York high school teacher Aaron Arm, a voice performance is provided by retired Disney Imagineer staffer Roy Berglund and a song that will feature in a later chapter comes from Arizona synth pop duo Fuzzle.
Killen is the writer. He’s known for creating Fox’s Lone Star, NBC’s Awake and ABC’s Mind Games during the 2010s. He also co-wrote Jodie Foster-directed 2011 film The Beaver and Kevin and Michael Goetz’s Scenic Route.
More recently, he was showrunner and executive producer on Paramount+ sci-fi series Halo, and created Fox pilot The Last Police, which was passed over last year as we revealed at the time. Next year, he is set to be showrunner on Netflix’s Man on Fire.
“The Disco Ball represents a new way to engage with fictional characters and worlds,” said Killen. “It’s an experience that leans into modern technology and all the powerful ways in which it can seamlessly aid global community, human connection, and the sharing of ideas.”
StoryCo, which markets itself as “backed by a diverse group of investors in art, media, gaming, entertainment and technology,” is the latest example of how creatives are using digital platforms to evolve storytelling and involve more interaction with engaged viewers.
“We are creating a new paradigm of IP participation that will unlock the potential of creators from around the globe, allowing anyone to contribute to the creative process and rewarding them through profit-participation in the franchise,” said StoryCo co-founder Justin Alanís.
On The Disco Ball, he added: “We are thrilled to partner with some of the best talent working in Hollywood today to build out this unique storytelling experience. We are creating a new kind of entertainment content that is participatory, one that enables consumers to engage more deeply, and empowers creators to lend their unique talents to expand the story world.”
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