When Disney's upcoming streaming service Disney+ was first announced, the media giant made it clear that they would look to their library of brands and franchises to see what would be ripe for a reboot/remake/restart/and other "re-" word I missed – and they're not messing around.
On Friday, Disney+ announced the cast for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and that production is currently underway in Salt Lake City, Utah – with the series expected to premiere in late 2019. The 10-episode series is developed and executive produced by Tim Federle (Ferdinand) alongside showrunner/executive producer Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars, Ugly Betty). Tamra Davis (Empire, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) has been tapped to direct the first three episodes, with Zach Woodlee (Glee, Dumplin') handling choreography. Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush (original High School Musical trilogy) are also executive producers.
Disney+'s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series stars Joshua Bassett (Stuck in the Middle), Olivia Rodrigo (Bizaardvark), Kate Reinders (Modern Family, Broadway's Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Sofia Wylie (Andi Mack), Matt Cornett (Bella and the Bulldogs), Dara Renee' (Freaky Friday), Julia Lester (Mom), Frankie Rodriguez (Modern Family), Larry Saperstein (Fan Girl), and Mark St. Cyr (Doomsday).
"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!"
– Gary Marsh, President/CCO, Disney Channels Worldwide
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series picks up nearly 15 years after the original movie aired, at the real-life location where it all began: East High. It follows a group of students as they count down to opening night of their school's first-ever production of "High School Musical." Show-mances blossom; friendships are tested while new ones are made; rivalries flare; and lives are changed forever as these young people discover the transformative power that only a high school drama club can provide.
The series's soundtrack will be a blend of original songs and acoustic "rehearsal-room" reinterpretations of songs from the original High School Musical – all telling the tale of an unlikely group of theater kids who learn "we're all in this together" when it comes to pulling off an against-all-odds opening night.
"We are truly excited about this extremely talented cast and the fresh and contemporary take on this globally beloved franchise. From the music and dance, to the characters and hilarious meta references, there is something here for fans of the originals, as well as people who are new to East High. It's going to be an unforgettable viewing experience for Disney+ subscribers."
– Agnes Chu, SVP Content, Disney+