Despite the continous rumors over the years of a fourth High School Musical movie, it looks like Disney is going the longer route with a TV series instead. They confirmed back in September 2018 that the series would be developed for Disney’s new streaming service but only just released the details for this new project. Here’s everything we know about High School Musical: The Musical so far:
It takes place in the same old East High we know and love, only 15 years after the original High School Musical. Like the movie, it follows a group of high schoolers as they prepare to stage their annual winter production. The twist? They’re apparently going to be performing High School Musical. So yes, they will be covering all the classic songs from the first movie as they audition, rehearse, and perform onstage. What this means for the continuity of the HSM universe is still a bit unclear.
Disney describes their cast in a press release as:
Characters include Ricky (Joshua Bassett), the recently dumped class clown who decides to overcome his heartbreak by (what else?) auditioning for the school musical in an attempt to win back his lost love. Unfortunately for Ricky, his ex-girlfriend Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) is a natural performer who’s finally found the courage to also audition for the musical! If you thought that was already dramatic enough, wait until you meet no-nonsense E.J. (Matt Cornett), the son of two lawyers (so that means twice the ambition!) who is not only Ricky’s rival for the big role, but also the rival for Nini’s heart!
The rest of the cast is just as spirited: What’s a High School Musical story without a drama queen? You can bet on “wonderstudy” Gina (Sofia Wylie) to channel Sharpay Evans’ flair for theatrics, but with less pink and more ruthlessness. Joining the cast will also be Ricky’s total skater dude BFF Big Red (Larry Saperstein), new student and aspiring songwriter Ashlyn (Julia Lester), overly-caffeinated student choreographer Carlos (Frankie Rodriguez), Kourtney’s ride-or-die BFF (Dara Reneé), and the mysterious new drama teacher Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders).
The Production Team
Zach Woodlee (Glee) will be heading choreography for both new and old song numbers alike. Tim Federle (Ferdinand) will be writing the show and producing alongside Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars), who will also act as showrunner. Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush, from the original HSM trilogy, will also be serving as executive producers. Tamra Davis (Empire, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) will direct the first 3 episodes.
Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channels Worldwide, says this of the show:
The challenge we handed the creative team was Herculean. How do you recapture the joy and the magic of the original High School Musical movie… and simultaneously reimagine it completely? That’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. And Tim and Oliver—and this amazingly talented and diverse cast and crew—have done exactly that!
There has been no announcement of a release date as of yet, but we can expect the show to premiere no earlier than late 2019 as Disney’s streaming service will not be up yet.
How do you think this new tv show will turn out?