The Primetime Emmy and Directors Guild of America award-winner inked a multiyear overall deal to direct and produce new programming for the streaming giant. Ortega, who choreographed such films as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dirty Dancing, and Pretty in Pink, will be joined by Truman Alfaro, who will serve as his development executive.
“Throughout the course of his career, Kenny Ortega has inspired generations of artists and audiences alike,” says Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix. “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.”
Two projects are already fast-tracked for development, including Auntie Claus (working title) — a holiday film based on the book series of the same name by Elise Primavera — and Julie and the Phrantoms, an original series based on an International Emmy Award-nominated Brazilian television series.
Auntie Claus, set to be adapted by Tiffany Paulsen (Adventures in Babysitting), involves a young girl determined to get to the bottom of why her eccentric, Christmas-loving aunt disappears every Christmas.
Julie and the Phantoms is a musical comedy about a teenage 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.