When High School Musical first hit in 2006, it was a genuine Disney phenomenon, something the House of Mouse had not achieved in live-action since Mary Poppins. The man behind it, Kenny Ortega, is also the director behind cult favorites Hocus Pocus and Newsies, making him one of the most successful directors of non-Broadway, non-animated musicals of all time. Now, Ortega is back with his newest project, Julie & The Phantoms, which will head to Netflix in time for fall. The first Julie & The Phantoms trailer promises this is one musical show that won't be giving up the ghost.
Once again, Ortega is bringing the musical format to the masses, though it's not a film. Julie & The Phantoms is a scripted series, with nine half-hour episodes all told. In it, Julie (Madison Reyes) meets a '90s boy band, Sunset Curve, whose members, Luke, Flynn, and Alex (Charlie Gillespie, Jeremy Shada, and Owen Patrick Joyner), are all ghosts who have not passed through to the other side.
Here's the synopsis from Netflix:
High schooler Julie lost her passion for music after her mom died last year. But when the ghosts of three dreamy musicians from 1995 suddenly appear in her mom’s old music studio, Julie feels her own inner spirit beginning to reawaken, and she's inspired to start singing and writing songs again. As their friendship with Julie grows, the boys convince her to create a new band together: Julie and the Phantoms.
And here is the trailer:
Netflix's new show is based on a Brazilian children's television series Julie e os Fantasmas, which is partly produced by Nickelodeon Brazil. But Ortega promises his series merely uses the premise as a jumping-off point, and the Americanized version will be different.
Speaking to Deadline about it, he said:
We were given complete license to explore through the boundaries of what it was and to begin anew. That’s what excited me. This was really a completely new exploration of the idea.
As for the music, Julie & The Phantoms are fighting for space on your Spotify playlist. There will be an accompanying album of 15 original songs to go with the show.
Check out the music video for the show's signature song "Edge of Great."
Though it's too early to tell if Julie, Luke, Alex, and Flynn will be the next musical sensation, the trailer and the music video certainly sound like they're radio-ready.
Julie & The Phantoms arrives on Netflix on Thursday, Sept. 10.