Entertainment09 April 2019
Hollywood, Calif. - April 9, 2019 - Netflix today announced that it has entered into a multi-year overall deal with producer, director, and choreographer Kenny Ortega. Ortega is known for the High School Musical franchise, which earned him a Primetime Emmy and Directors Guild of America Award. Widely acclaimed for his genre-bending work in musicals, drama, comedy, and family programs, Ortega has directed and choreographed international hits including the Descendants trilogy, Newsies, and Hocus Pocus, and choreographed classic films including Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Pretty in Pink, among others. Truman Alfaro will serve as Ortega’s development executive.
The first two projects Ortega will direct and produce for Netflix are Auntie Claus (working title), a film, and Julie and the Phantoms, an original series, which he will also executive produce. Auntie Claus is a musical based on the popular book series of the same name by Elise Primavera involving a young girl determined to get to the bottom of why her eccentric, Christmas-loving Aunt disappears every Christmas. It will be adapted by Tiffany Paulsen (Holidate, Nancy Drew).
Julie and the Phantoms is a musical comedy series in development based on an International Emmy Award-nominated Brazillian television series. Julie is a teenaged girl who finds her passion for music and life with the help of a high -concept band of three teen boys (The Phantoms) who have been dead for 25 years. Julie, in turn, helps them become the band they were never able to be. Dan Cross and David Hoge (The Thundermans, Pair of Kings) will serve as showrunners and executive producers on the series, with George Salinas and Jaime Aymerich of Crossover Entertainment, as well as Hugo Janeba and Joao Tikhmiroff of Mixer Entertainment. Jason La Padura and Natalie Hart (High School Musical and Descendants trilogies) are now casting the titular roles.
QUOTE FROM TED SARANDOS, CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER, NETFLIX: “Throughout the course of his career, Kenny Ortega has inspired generations of artists and audiences alike. That he has chosen to make Netflix his creative home to work on both feature films and series is thrilling. We can’t wait to see what he brings to Netflix to delight musical-loving families and audiences around the globe.”
QUOTE FROM KENNY ORTEGA: “As a fan of Netflix and their dynamic range of high quality content, I am thrilled to begin a creative relationship with the company. I'm super excited about the projects we already have in development and the shared enthusiasm I feel from the company. l look forward to this new Netflix collaboration with the highest hopes.”
Kenny Ortega’s Headshot (Please download the image)
Auntie Claus Book Cover (Please download the image)
About Kenny Ortega
Kenny Ortega is a multi award-winning director, choreographer, and producer. Some of Ortega’s work throughout his long and illustrious career in film and television includes Newsies, Hocus Pocus, Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and the High School Musical franchise, for which Ortega won an Emmy Award for choreography. He is also the executive producer for the films’ multi-platinum soundtracks. Ortega directed and executive produced High School Musical 3: Senior Year (HSM 3), which became the biggest theatrical box office opening for a musical in history. Most recently, he directed Descendants 3, the third installment in the record-breaking Descendants trilogy. Ortega has also directed A Change of Heart (winner of the OUTshine Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature), The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, and The Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Special.
Ortega was honored with Directing and Choreography Emmy awards for his work as supervising choreographer and co-artistic director of the Salt Lake Olympic Ceremonies and an Emmy and American Choreography award for the Atlanta Olympic Ceremonies.
He has received three Emmy Awards, two Directors Guild of America Awards, The Fred & Adele Astaire Lifetime Achievement Award, Bob Fosse Award, American Choreography Lifetime Achievement Award, MTV Video Music Award, American Music Award, Billboard Award, ALMA Award, Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, Imagen Creative Achievement Award, and an NAACP Image Award, among others.
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