Disney Channel is working on the next installment in a movie franchise that the network boss says is part of the channel’s DNA. The network announced Tuesday that casting was beginning for “High School Musical 4.”
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said in the announcement: “‘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.”
DGA Award nominee Jeffrey Hornaday (Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie,” “Teen Beach 2”) is on board to direct and choreograph the movie. The screenwriters are 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). Back in camp as executive producers are Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush.
The original “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 channel says in its announcement. “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.”
The announcement adds: “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).”