It will be the start of something new for High School Musical fans when Disney+ launches, with a new series remaking, but not quite, the modern classic franchise – and a new trailer gives us a first glimpse of what’s in store.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is a 10-episode scripted series set at the real-life East High, where the original movie was filmed. It follows a group of students as they countdown to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.” With meta references and some docu-style elements, it’s a modern take on the classic from 15 years ago. Show-mances blossom; friendships are tested, while new ones are made; rivalries flare; songs are sung; and lives are changed forever as these young people discover the transformative power that only high school theatre can provide.
The series stars Joshua Bassett, Oliva Rodrigo, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Julia Lester, Larry Saperstein, Dara Reneé, Frankie A. Rodriguez, Kate Reinders, and Mark St. Cyr.
The film will be available on Disney+ when it launches on 12th November in the US – but, at present, not in the UK. Whether it will be available via existing UK subscription service DisneyLife or even Sky Cinema, which has a deal with Disney in the UK, is not yet clear.
Here’s the trailer:
Joshua Bassett to star in Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical
20th October 2018
Joshua Bassett will be the leading man in Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical series.
The show, which reinvents its franchise for the House of Mouse’s upcoming streaming service, is a mockumentary that follows students at East High, who stage a performance of High School Musical as their winter production. Every episode will feature a new version of a song from High School Musical, balanced out by a new original track.
Now, Disney has found the star it needs to anchor that post-modern premise: Joshua Bassett. The 17 year old is no stranger to Disney, having appeared in Disney Channel’s Stuck in the Middle, as well a number of musical stage shows, commercials and Bravo’s crime anthology, Dirty John. He will star as Ricky, a “cynical but charming high school junior”, who auditions to star in the school production in order to win back his ex-girlfriend Nini.
“As someone whose childhood was shaped by the cultural phenomenon that is High School Musical,’ I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to tell this story. Go Wildcats!” Bassett said in a statement.
“Joshua’s interpretation of the Ricky character was brilliant – funny, winning and, at the same time, uniquely vulnerable,” commented Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide. “The audience is going to love watching this charismatic young actor put his stamp on this next chapter of the High School Musical franchise.”
Oliver Goldstick will serve as executive producer and showrunner, with Oscar-nominated writer Tim Federle serving as writer and executive producer.
Disney has ordered 10 episodes, which are expected to premiere in late 2019.
Disney drops first details for new High School Musical series
11th September 2018
Disney’s streaming platform plans continue apace, and one of the crucial cornerstones of the subscription service will be its original and exclusive content. A key franchise in the last decade has been High School Musical, a breakout Disney Channel film that went on to spawn a trilogy. It is only natural, then, that the House of Mouse is developing a new High School Musical series for its streaming service. Now, we have our first official details of what’s in store.
Shot in the style of a documentary, the series will follow students at East High, who stage a performance of High School Musical as their winter theatre production. This meta-premise will allow Disney to focus on an entirely new cast of characters, as well as rely on time-honoured musical hits: every episode will feature a new version of a song from High School Musical, balanced out by a new original track.
The fittingly post-modern title? High School Musical: The Musical. Disney has ordered 10 episodes of the series, and casting is now underway, led by Julie Ashton. Oliver Goldstick will serve as executive producer, with Tim Federle serving as writer and executive producer.
As per Variety, here’s the line-up of characters being cast, with official descriptions:
A snarky sweetheart, a B-minus student, and our star. Ricky’s been dating fellow junior Nini for a year. When she unexpectedly breaks up with Ricky, he launches a bold plan to get Nini back — by auditioning to star opposite her in the school’s production of High School Musical. Ricky’s class-clowning covers a deep fear that he’s not actually great at anything, except coasting by on charm. Constantly attempting get-rich-quick schemes with best friend and fellow skater Big Red. Stays up too late bingeing GoPro stunt videos on YouTube. Voted “Most likely to sleep through his alarm.”
The other star. Formerly relegated to the chorus of her school’s musicals, Nini just got back from summer camp, where she found her voice – and confidence — playing the lead in The Music Man. Unfortunately, Nini also found a new boyfriend at camp. Drama. Fiercely loyal to her two moms, she’s stronger than she first appears: an iron butterfly. Never misses American Idol and The Voice (only after doing her homework, natch) and takes hour-long showers to sing Ariana Grande’s entire catalogue. Voted “Most likely to have a Hamilton lyric as her senior quote.”
Nini’s new love interest, the type of ambitious entrepre-nerd who brings homemade props to auditions. Don’t cross E.J. if you get something he wants — like a starring role, opposite “his” girl Nini. The son of two high-powered corporate attorneys, E.J. is supremely confident but secretly prone to anxiety attacks when anything goes off-plan. A future producer more than an actor, E.J. calls the Steve Jobs biography his “bible” and keeps a copy on his nightstand. Voted “Most likely to report another student for cheating on a test.”
Brash and gutsy, Ashlyn’s mouthy attitude covers “new kid” self-doubt. A slightly woo-woo horoscope reader, she’s finding her place in the school hierarchy. Or trying to. (It helps that her cousin E.J. is a senior.) Worships Sara Bareilles and is an aspiring songwriter on the sly. Can’t wait till she’s old enough to vote, and she’ll march and protest in the meantime. Whether she’s cast in the musical or not, she’s got her eye on student council. Her most-used app is Headspace, for meditation (and because of her crush on the disembodied Buddha voice). Voted “Most likely to read your palm.”
Ricky’s lifelong wingman. A skate rat, Big Red is the spiritual cousin of both Bill and Ted: always fuzzy, he’s been sleep-deprived since preschool. Big Red is weirdly devastated by Ricky and Nini’s breakup — his surest role is as their wisecracking third wheel. He has secretly crushed on Nini since middle school, and her breakup with Ricky proves a moral best-friend dilemma. He joins the backstage crew to be “Nini-adjacent.” Wants to start a garage band, but keeps forgetting to learn an instrument. He’s addicted to true crime podcasts and The Walking Dead, and yet he’s afraid of the dark. Voted “Most likely to believe aliens are real, bruh.”
Don’t call her an understudy, call her a “wonderstudy.” A polished pro with an Equity card and the unwavering belief that the drama teacher made a huge mistake not casting her as a lead. Gina is an entitled princess, but her ambition pales in comparison with her stage mother’s. Gina worries that she peaked in 6th grade, when she starred in a Canadian tour of Annie. Posts Instagram videos of her singing that go viral — and makes Nini seriously start to doubt her own talent. Voted “Most likely to push you down a flight of stairs.”
VCaptain of the color guard and the student choreographer of High School Musical. Beyoncé is his iPhone lockscreen wallpaper, and he already has his Tony Award for Best Choreography speech written out. Vikram thinks of the drama teacher as a peer — he eats lunch in her office, and has been drinking espresso since 3rd grade. All of this, even though Vikram still sleeps with a stuffed elephant, and is terrified of failure. His most-used app is Starbucks. Voted “Most likely to stage a flash mob on a field trip.”
The school’s new drama teacher, Miss Jenn is high-energy and low-reality. She truly believes musicals can save lives. If only she believed in telling the truth on her résumé. She’s moved back home to Utah after she left New York under mysterious circumstances, packing up in a hurry. Forces student choreographer Vikram to do a Kickstarter for the musical when the school board won’t give her the $50,000 budget she asks for. Suffers serious imposter syndrome and would ultimately do anything for these kids. Her most-used (and most-loathed) app is Tinder.
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