East High will be the center stage once again as Disney Channel officially announced on Tuesday, March 1 its kick-off for a nationwide casting search for High School Musical 4, 10 years after its debut. The Disney Channel Original Movie franchise concluded in 2008 with the theatrical release of High School Musical 3: Senior Year, with Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale among others bidding farewell to East High.
The official announcement came from Gary Marsh, President of Disney Channels Worldwide, who once teased the return of the tween-age franchise. “High School Musical is part of Disney Channel’s DNA. It embodies all that we stand for. As a way of continuing to embrace that heritage, we’re excited to announce ‘the start of something new’ – as we launch a search for a new class of East High Wildcats to star in a fourth installment of the High School Musical franchise,” says Marsh.
Teen Beach Movie’s Jeffrey Hornaday has been slated to direct and choreograph High School Musical 4, which will once again take place at East High and follow the school’s famous Wildcats (as well as their rivals, the West High Knights). Dan Berendsen (Baby Daddy) will write the screenplay together with Peter Barsocchini, who wrote all three High School Musical movies.
The film’s first broadcast in 2006 reached 7.7 million in viewership, with its soundtrack earning a triple platinum. High School Musical 2 broke records as one of the most-watched programs ever to be featured on basic cable back in 2007, and High School Musical 3: Senior Year raking over $250 million worldwide. The movie franchised skyrocketed the careers of Efron and Hudgens, making them an iconic part of pop culture.
Disney has also announced an open casting call this spring. Follow this link to get more updates on the audition.
Watch this video from Entertainment Weekly to hear about Disney’s talent search.