On Sept. 10, Brooklyn-born boricua Madison Reyes will make her Netflix debut on Julie and the Phantoms. The series is the latest from filmmaker Kenny Ortega—creator of High School Musical, Descendants, Hocus Pocus, and choreographer of ‘80s classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing.
Reyes embodies singer-songwriter Julie in the 9-episode series, which is a loose adaptation of a Brazilian show that aired from 2011 to 2012. Ortega intentionally sought a Latinx for the lead role, telling ET that he wanted Julie and the Phantoms to portray “a Latina family” with “a young girl that was relatable.” Reyes stood out to him as more than just a natural fit, but also the absolute ideal—despite having zero prior TV or film credits—among a nationwide talent search.
The three phantoms (actual ghosts) float into Julie’s life in a moment of need: Her devotion to music has significantly dimmed since her mother’s death the year prior. There’s an era barrier (surprise, the trio of spirits are from 1995!); still, they gel incredibly well, and Julie is able to rediscover her passion.
There may be some real-life crossover too; the on-screen band members are actual musicians. Ortego told EW he hopes they can “go beyond” TV: recordings, live performances, and (post-pandemic restrictions, we presume) tours.
In fact, a 15-song soundtrack has already been organized: Reyes fronts throughout and actors like antagonist Caleb Covington (Cheyenne Jackson) play backup.
Actor Carlos Ponce plays Julie’s father, and Sonny Bustamente takes the role of her younger brother. You can watch the trailer below: