On November 9, 2017, it was announced that new streaming service, Disney+, was developing a television series adaptation of their High School Musical film series created by Peter Barsocchini.
The first episode title is TBD but is set to be written by Tim Federle and directed by Tamra Davis. Federle is a Broadway writer, best known for co-writing the Broadway musical adaptation of Tuck Everlasting. Tamra Davis is an acclaimed American film, television, and music video director.
Davis' co-worker, Drew Barrymore, praised her work ethic: "It's a real honor, and much of the credit goes to Tamra because she's easily the best director I've ever worked with. Anyone who gets to work with her is lucky because the scope of her talent is huge, and her vision is really pure." Now if you ask me, that’s a dream duo of showrunners to begin an adventure like this with!
Anyone who gets to work with her is lucky because the scope of her talent is huge, and her vision is really pure.
I personally have ALWAYS been an HSM fan since day 1, when I was in high school. It was the epitome of what i wanted for musical theatre. Somewhat of a modern-day FAME, mixed with Grease, pre-GLEE, all wrapped up in family-friendly fun that was either your bread and butter or let’s face it, a guilty pleasure. Haha! We all know you loved it. And the films only got better as the popularity began to grow over the years!
Turns out that on October 17, 2018, it was announced that Joshua Bassett had been cast in a leading role. The rest of the cast was announced on February 15, 2019, including Sofia Wylie as Gina, Kate Reinders as Ms. Jenn, and Olivia Rodrigo as Nini.
Joshua Bassett had been cast in a leading role.
During this year’s D23 Expo Fan Convention in Anaheim, CA, the new cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series stopped by the EW and PEOPLE video studio backstage to share new details about their streaming musical comedy, as well as reveal how they were all fans of the original Disney Channel film trilogy starring Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, and many more breakout stars. One of the lead castmates was even in a production of High School Musical when he was younger, while another was at the 3rd film’s premiere! How cool is that?!
D23 Expo Fan Convention
During the D23 panel for the new series, original High School Musical cast member, Corbin Blue, walked onstage with a whopping and enthusiastic, “What’s up, Wildcats!” He reminisces: “It has been over 10 years, a decade, since the original High School Musical movie. In fact, it was the first TV movie to be on iTunes.
It has been over 10 years, a decade, since the original High School Musical movie. In fact, it was the first TV movie to be on iTunes.
The film franchise went on to win not 1 but 2 Emmy awards and become a live stage production. It was a wild ride. Today, the journey continues. Disney’s new streaming platform, Disney+, is going to be playing host to a brand new television series that is a reinvention of Disney Channel’s most successful TV movie franchise of all time.”
Executive producer and showrunner of the Disney+ series, Tim Federle, does on to join Bleu onstage to explain why the new show is a meta look at the original franchise with an all-new cast of young characters. Federle: “You don’t want to remake High School Musical because it’s still perfect,” he says. “What I want to do is capture the real spirit of theater kids. So what if we cast real teenagers with acne? We will. AND they’re not going to lip-sync. They’re going to sing live. It’s the real deal. The entire series is all about finding your tribe. A new generation deserves new characters.”
"High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" premieres November 12th on Disney+. While it appears that the original names of the cast have been changed, and there’s no rumor mill turning as to if any of the original cast members will return to East Side High, or even make a cameo appearance. But here’s what we do know about casting so far on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Watch the official trailer below.