A musical dramedy about life, loss, and following your dreams, “Julie and the Phantoms” (JATP) brought something special to the small screen in 2020. The show’s emotional storylines and music captured the interest and hearts of many viewers. “Julie and the Phantoms” was also well received by critics and won several awards, including three Daytime Emmys.
With such a promising beginning — and a cliffhanger ending! — many fans are wondering why Netflix hasn’t released a second season of “Julie and the Phantoms.” We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the show’s current status right here.
Has “Julie and the Phantoms” Been Canceled?
Inspired by the Brazilian TV series “Julie e os Fantasmas,” Dan Cross and David Hoge created the American musical series “Julie and the Phantoms.” Kenny Ortega, famed director of Disney’s “Descendants” and “High School Musical” movies, signed a multi-year deal with Netflix in 2019. Netflix released the first season for streaming on Sept. 10, 2020, and over nine episodes, viewers experienced the ups and downs of friendship, love, and grief — all set to rocking and soulful tunes.
Unfortunately, Netflix officially canceled “Julie and the Phantoms” in December 2021. As the executive producer, choreographer, and director, Ortega made the announcement on Instagram: “We learned this week that Netflix will not be picking us up for another season. Although our hearts are saddened, we move on with such pride for what we accomplished as a team and the family we built while creating Julie.”
Why Was “Julie and the Phantoms” Season 2 Canceled?
According to actor Jeremy Shada, who plays one of the boys in the band, it wasn’t just fans that were hoping for the continuation of “Julie and the Phantoms.”
In a recent interview, Shada revealed that the cast and crew were ready to go as soon as Netflix gave the green light. They waited for over a year before Netflix declined to renew the series for unknown reasons. Unless Netflix reveals its thoughts behind this decision, we’ll never know why “Julie and the Phantoms” was canceled.
About the “Julie and the Phantoms” Cast
A newcomer and self-taught singer from Brooklyn, New York, Madison Reyes headed the cast of “Julie and the Phantoms.” As high schooler Julie Molina, Reyes portrayed a talented singer/songwriter who has been unable to engage with music since her mother’s death. When Julie plays an old CD of her mom’s, she accidentally summons three ghosts who were part of the 1995 rock band Sunset Curve. Eventually, they help human Julie pursue her dreams while she helps them fulfill their own unfinished business. The boys, who died together 25 years ago after a bad hot dog incident, were played by the following actors:
Charlie Gillespie as Luke Patterson:
Born in Canada, Gillespie is an actor, singer, and musician. He can play the guitar, bass, trombone, tuba, piano, violin, and saxophone. His character Luke is the lead singer and guitarist of the Phantom band and one of Julie’s love interests.
Owen Patrick Joyner as Alex Mercer:
Originally from Oklahoma, Joyner began his acting career on stage and eventually made it to the screen via Nickelodeon in 2014. He plays Alex, the drummer of the ghostly band, who befriends and falls in love with a skateboarding ghost named Willie.
Jeremy Shada as Reggie Peters:
Shada is an American actor born in Idaho. Inspired by his older brother, he began to act at only seven years old. He’s also a musician and singer. Shada, who plays Reggie in the series, is the bass player of the band, who offers many moments of comic relief during the whole musical comedy.
The cast of main characters is rounded out by Julie’s best friend Flynn (Jadah Marie), her lifelong love interest Nick (Sacha Carlson), and her frenemy Carrie (Savannah Lee May). Carrie’s also the lead singer of the pop group Dirty Candy and the daughter of Trevor Wilson (Steve Bacic) — a former bandmate of Sunset Curve who used Luke’s songs to become rich and famous after his death.
Recurring roles in “Julie and the Phantoms” include:
Carlos Ponce as Ray Molina: Ray is a widower, photographer, and the supportive and loving father of Julie and Carlos.
Sonny Bustamante as Carlos Molina: Carlos is Julie’s younger brother and an amateur ghost hunter who figures out the truth behind her hologram band.
Alison Araya as Aunt Victoria: Tia is always ready to come to the rescue when things seem to be going wrong in Julie’s house, even if her help isn’t always so helpful.
Booboo Stewart as Willie: Willie is a ghost who Alex runs into one day. He teaches drummer Alex more about being a ghost, but despite his good intentions, he ends up landing the band in a heap of trouble that could cost them for eternity.
Cheyenne Jackson as Caleb Covington: Caleb is a famous magician with dark powers that other ghosts don’t possess. He owns the Hollywood Ghost Club and Willie’s soul.
Does Julie Kiss One of the Phantoms?
The characters Julie and Luke have amazing chemistry in the show, especially when they sing together. It’s not just a trivial story where a boy and a girl fall in love. It’s about a strong mutual connection and a real struggle. But despite their special on-screen relationship, there were no plans for their relationship to become physical.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, actress Madison Reyes explained: “It’s a deep connection. I’m just excited to see that connection that they have with each other grow. I think we should show that you don’t need to just fall for any guy that you like. You can take your time.”
“Julie and the Phantoms” is a wonderful example for younger people that you don’t have to necessarily rush things.
Fans also didn’t want Julie and Luke to rush into anything because of the ages of the actors in real life. Although they played 15 and 17 years old in the show, Reyes was 16 at the time of filming, while Charlie Gillespie was 21. Director Kenny Ortega agreed with fans and Reyes as he shared that there’s a lot you can show about Julie and Luke’s connection without physicalizing it.
Will “Julie and the Phantoms” Return for Season 2?
Kenny Ortega has confirmed that there’s no current release date for a second season of “Julie and the Phantoms,” but he hasn’t ruled out that we may see the band again in the future. He believes the show is some of the best work he’s ever done for young adult entertainment, so he doesn’t want this to be the end.
About the future of “Julie and the Phantoms,” Ortega has said: “I don’t want to jinx it. If Netflix wants to carry on with it any time in the future, perhaps someone else will be interested in it. Perhaps we could tour the kids as a music group or maybe a film.” The four young musicians who make up the band in the show are actually a band in real life. Ortega and his team worked hard to assemble a real band of talented young people who could sing, act, and play instruments for the show.
Hundreds of thousands of fans have also banded together to petition Netflix for the return of “Julie and the Phantoms,” as episode nine ends with a cliffhanger (spoiler: The ghost hex is broken and they become corporeal). The show was slow to build a fan base via Netflix streaming, but it really took off once music videos were posted to YouTube. “Julie and the Phantom” clips have millions of views, some with over 46 millions views.
Fans who want to campaign for season two should use the hashtags #savejatp, #JulieAndThePhantoms, or #SAVEJULIEANDTHEPHANTOMS on Netflix’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Where Can You Still Watch “Julie and the Phantoms?”
As a Netflix original series, the first season of “Julie and the Phantoms” is still available for streaming on the platform. Netflix also released the show’s soundtrack on their YouTube channel, Netflix After School.
The soundtrack is available for purchase on other music streaming platforms (Spotify, Amazon, etc.) and includes the following hit songs:
- Now or Never
- Finally Free
- Flying Solo
- Stand Tall
- Edge of Great
- Unsaid Emily
- The Other Side of Hollywood
- All Eyes on Me
- Wake Up
- Perfect Harmony
- You Got Nothing to Lose
- I Got the Music
- This Band Is Back (Reggie’s Jam)
Like their characters Julie and Luke, Madison Reyes and Charlie Gillespie are songwriters and experimented with writing together to more fully understand their characters’ feelings and experiences. They wrote the song “Perfect Harmony” and sang it as a duet in the scene where they danced together. It’s a pivotal moment when Julie realizes her true (and complicated) feelings for Luke.
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BuddyTV is here for you with all the latest news about your favorite movies and TV shows. We know it’s hard when a show you’ve connected with might be done for good, but we’re hopeful along with Julie’s other “fantoms” that this isn’t the end of what we’ll see from this highly talented cast.
As you wait for more news about “Julie and the Phantoms,” check out BuddyTV to find a new show or movie you’ll love just as much.