More than 10 years after “High School Musical” became a global phenomenon, Disney Channel is getting ready to return to East High one more time.
A nationwide casting search begins today for a planned Disney Channel Original Movie, “High School Musical 4,” that will continue the story of the global sensation “High School Musical” — and introduce new East High Wildcats and their cross-town school rivals, the West High Knights.
DGA Award nominee Jeffrey Hornaday (Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie,” “Teen Beach 2”) is attached to direct and choreograph the movie. The casting directors are Jason La Padura, C.S.A., Natalie Hart, C.S.A., and Kendra Patterson, C.S.A., of LaPadura/Hart/Patterson.
Information on open casting calls to be scheduled this spring will soon be posted at www.disneychannel.com/opencall.
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “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.”
Dan Berendsen (creator/executive producer of Freeform’s “Baby Daddy,” writer of Disney’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach 2” and “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie”) and Peter Barsocchini (writer of all three “High School Musical” movies) are the screenwriters of “High School Musical 4.” Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush return as the executive producers.
Directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega (also of Disney Channel’s “Descendants”) “High School Musical” is remembered fondly by a generation of kids and families and renowned for inspiring viewers to explore and participate in music, dance and theater. The now iconic Disney Channel Original Movie premiered January 20, 2006, delivering 7.7 million Total Viewers in the U.S.– at the time, the highest ratings for any telecast ever on Disney Channel. It broke new ground as the first-ever TV movie soundtrack to reach #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and went on to become the #1 album of 2006 as well as the #1 soundtrack and #1 Kids’ album of that year.
Its critically acclaimed sequel, “High School Musical 2,” ranks as the #1 basic cable telecast of all time (18.6 million viewers for its August 17, 2007 premiere). The “High School Musical 2” soundtrack is triple Platinum and its DVD release was the top-selling TV property on DVD for 2007. Walt Disney Pictures debuted “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” in October 2008. Its premiere weekend box office sales marked the highest debut ever for a musical and for a live-action G-rated film. It grossed over $250 million at the worldwide box office.
“High School Musical” received two Emmy Awards, the Television Critics Association Award, an Imagen Award (recognizing the positive portrayal of Latinos in entertainment media), a Billboard Music Award for Soundtrack of the Year, an American Music Award and a Producer’s Guild of America Award. The movies also delivered licensed amateur and professional touring stage productions, a bestselling junior novel, a popular consumer products franchise at mass retailers, a themed show at Disneyland Parks and Resorts in Anaheim, Orlando and Paris, and a sold-out 42-date arena concert tour in North America and Latin America.