After waiting for what feels prefer a century, Disney Channel is lastly making Phil that the Future, a show around a family members time travel from the year 2121 who acquire stuck in present day, obtainable for streaming, thanks to Disney Plus.*

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Phil that the Future turned Raviv Ullman, that then went by Ricky, into a family members name overnight. However his climb to Disney fame merely felt like an additional audition at the time.

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Living in Fairfield, Connecticut and also doing theatre and also TV movies, Raviv was in reality in ballet class when he learned he booked the role of Phil Diffy. However he didn"t immediately rev increase his Skyak and jet the end to LA.


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"As part of the ramp approximately Phil of the Future, offered me Pixel Perfect ," Raviv told lifwynnfoundation.org. Pixel Perfect premiered several months before Phil, so that duty would be Disney Channel audience"s first introduction come Raviv.

From there, he"d walk on to do Phil, as well as guest-star on That"s so Raven and also lend his voice in Kim Possible: therefore the Drama. Oh, and also don"t forget he was component of the one of Stars and also did interstitials, choose "Express Yourself."

"As one actor, you get the opportunity to stretch her wings and shot a lot of of different things, every under the Disney family, and that was really cool."


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This tactic worked, and an entire generation grew up knowing Raviv together Phil Diffy, a kind-hearted teenager native the 22nd century. However, Phil was at first going come be lot different, at the very least physically.

According to trivia on IMDb, Phil was originally going to be 12 year old, no 15 or 16. If Raviv couldn"t definitively confirm if this was true, he did note exactly how at the very first audition that did for Phil, that walked right into a waiting room with a bunch of much younger kids.

"I remember reasoning to myself, ‘Well, this is never gonna happen due to the fact that I’m a good few years older 보다 these guys,"" Raviv said. Obviously, that did work-related out, for this reason it"s possible one of the an initial renditions that the script referred to as for a younger Phil, however there was never ever a moment where Raviv to be going to try and play a 12-year-old. (He was 16 as soon as they filmed the pilot and also 17 once they began filming the series.)


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The development of the show readjusted a lot of from manuscript to screen.

The collection was originally referred to as The out of Timers once Raviv booked the role, and it centered an ext around the Diffy family members instead the Phil. The unaired pilot even had a various actor playing Curtis the caveman.

Fun fact: actor J.P. Manoux, that played both Curtis and also Vice principal Hackett, was supposedly so convincing in his double roles, Raviv said that for the first couple of mainly of filming, number of crew members didn"t realize the duties were played by the very same person. He deserves every the wallaberries because that pulling that off.

Going into additional detail, Raviv explained, "Because we had actually shot the pilot in an really house, set in an really school, come match all of that we finished up building all of those to adjust on sound stages in Los Angeles. With a little bit that recasting and also a tiny bit of story readjust and locations, we finished up starting from scratch from the first episode the aired."

Another significant change from script to display screen is additionally the strangest: Barbara Diffy originally had a robotic head and detachable body.

Yes, you review that correctly.


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On paper, this idea looked an excellent and screamed "futuristic," but in practice, the principle didn"t work quite and also the creators had actually hoped. The best part? They actually filmed scenes v actress Lise Simms sitting underneath a fake table with just her head poking out. That was supplied in at an early stage advertisements for the show. They to be super beforehand advertisements, since when it come time to air the "prequel" brief that set up the premise because that the display to lure viewers to tune in, Barbara"s head never ever leaves, uh, her body.

When i asked Raviv around this hair-raising personality trait, that shared exactly how they shoot episodes v the head gag, yet after modifying it together and showing that to test audiences, the thought probably it didn"t work-related as well and Disney determined to cut that out.

"I think we had actually shot the entire first season that way, whereby she had actually a detachable head and also robot body. Then because that the 2nd season, us actually had to finish up going back and reshooting a bunch of things so that basically any kind of scene whereby she had that situation was just kind the a constant scene again."

Even better, IMDb detailed how Barbara wore chokers and turtlenecks throughout the very first season come hide where her head was an alleged to detach. That tracks.


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Phil and also Keely were always endgame, however that wasn"t necessarily the goal.

While many changes to the early stage storyline occurred, one aspect that constantly remained continuous was the strong friendship in between Phil and Keely. Unlike many other shows, Phil didn"t do its main emphasis on making "Pheely" — aka among the earliest ship names during a time before that was typical — official.

"When us were shooting, that didn’t feel favor this is a romantic connection we’re all simply kind of wait to happen, which ns think is yes, really sweet," Raviv said. The writers enabled Phil and also Keely"s friendship to important blossom before including hints that something an ext could be at play. Nobody of the cast were sitting around, anxiously waiting for the big romantic moment to happen. Since that wasn"t the allude of the show.

As Raviv spicy out, there"d be an episode including jealousy every now and also then, together as once Keely had a crush on a robot in a digital mall and also Phil didn"t take care of it well. But for the most part, the collection "was around a really strong friendship, and around trust and also building confidence through someone."


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The ending of the display remains a an enig to this day.

Phil that the Future was quite distinct for the network in ~ the time. It to be the last single-camera show for countless years (for reference, That"s for this reason Raven was a multi-camera show), and it included many special impacts that to be time-consuming come produce.

Back in the golden Era that Disney Channel, the network had an well known 65-episode rule, meaning that once a display hit 65 episodes, it to be done. Both Even Stevens and also Lizzie McGuire had 65 episodes, and that was thought about the norm till That"s for this reason Raven changed the game by make 100 episodes.

Since Phil of the Future aired about the same time as these shows, why did that only obtain 43 episodes — and ended on a cliffhanger finale, no less? Not also Raviv knows why the series was canceled as soon as it was. The actors wasn"t ever before given one explanation; they didn"t also know the display was going to be over when lock wrapped season two.

But Raviv has one plausible concept for why his present had a much shorter run: money.

"It deserve to be a lot more expensive come shoot a single-camera show." because that starters, single-cam series film five days a week, if multi-cam ones movie for two days and also rehearse throughout the various other three. This method you"re paying crew an ext for a single-cam show.


Moreover, Phil had special results that various other Disney shows, like The Suite Life the Zack & Cody, didn"t, so creating all the gadgets and gizmos because that a family members from the 22nd century was an expensive and time-consuming process. "I understand that we were simply a much much more expensive present than what they to be doing at the time. For a network, a most it is business and also trying to number out," Raviv said, which provides sense.

Another thing the actors wasn"t ever before told was what was claimed to take place after the finale. Come recap, the episode finished with Phil and also Keely sharing your romantic feelings for each other and kissing, with Phil saying he"d wait because that her. But when the Diffys every piled into the now-fixed time device and were headed home, they establish they left Curtis behind. The last shot to be of Curtis hanging the end in an empty house.

So, what gives? execute the Diffys live the end their life in the 21st century? perform they swing earlier to grab Curtis and then return to the year 2121? walk Phil ever go back and see Keely again? These are the inquiries that save fans up at night.

Unfortunately, Raviv is simply as in the dark. Despite there were rumors around making a TV distinct and/or movie come wrap up the loose ends, nothing to be ever questioned with the cast. The show just... Ended.


Is there any kind of chance for a reunion in the future?

"I"m hoping that it method there’s still room for united state to go and also explore what that ending was," Raviv said, adding, "I"d like to think that Phil is still out there somewhere, make the efforts to discover his way back to Keely and also his friends here. And also with time travel, time doesn’t really exist in the very same way, therefore anything’s possible."

He renders a an excellent point. Filming a reunion one-of-a-kind or also reviving the series wouldn"t have actually too plenty of logistical issues. If Raviv and also Aly Michalka and the rest of the cast returned, looking choose they perform now, it"s totally plausible. Phil could spend 15+ year in the future, v Keely hence spending 15+ years in her (our) time, and when Phil returns, they"re still around the exact same age.

No one would have to be recast come play the parts, conversely, if Disney wanted to continue the adventures of pair boys going to high college on a watercraft for a Suite Life ~ above Deck reboot, you"d more than likely need come recast Dylan and Cole Sprouse. The Sprouses" present age simply wouldn"t make feeling with the story.

And speak of revivals, what would certainly Raviv favor to check out happen, should Phil get the Raven"s Home treatment? He"d desire it to involve protecting the environment.


Raviv is a huge environmental activist — he"s even working ~ above a documentary referred to as Standing Ground, which concentrates on exactly how pipelines are affecting our planet — and also could view Phil one of two people returning indigenous the future come convince civilization to usage our resources and also preserve ours land much more carefully, or going forward with time to help set things straight for future generations. "I think there"s more than likely room for Phil to perhaps go on an eco-friendly crusade."

He also pointed out exactly how Keely was right into activism and also fighting because that what was right, for this reason this idea wouldn"t it is in off-brand because that the series. Keely did want to it is in a reporter, so her skills and Phil"s futuristic expertise would go hand in hand because that this crusade.

While Aly said ELLE.com in 2017 she"d be down for a reunion, would Raviv likewise want to do another Phil-related story? It"s been 15 years because the show an initial premiered, and also he"s gone on to do more adult projects, including starring in the Off-Broadway pat Usual Girls and guest-starring ~ above an episode of Broad City, whereby he play a stoner.

"I would have no ok will in the direction of a reboot. I think that they’re really fun." He common that he newly hung the end on the set of Raven"s Home (again) and also loved seeing that cast back together.

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Raviv pointed out just how the Phil cast is type of spread out out across the country right now and also working on different endeavors, but he "wouldn’t be the one to placed the brakes top top ."


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