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Report: ‘High School Musical’ Revival a Disney Priority, May Save Struggling Streaming Service

High School Musical
Credit: Disney

Get ready to go back to high school – rumor has it that Disney wants to revive one of its most iconic musical franchises from the 2000s.

If there’s one thing Disney loves, it’s a sequel. Over the past few decades, we’ve seen it produce sequels of varying caliber across all of its tentpoles. For every Toy Story 3 (2010) or Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 (2023) there’s a Cars 2 (2011) and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – and regardless of how well they’re perceived, you can never rule out another.

Lotso (Ned Beatty) greeting the toys at Sunnyside Daycare in 'Toy Story 3'

Credit: Disney / Pixar

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Sometimes, these sequels make sense. The likes of The Incredibles 2 (2018) and Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018), for example, both took place in a universe with plenty of scope for new stories.

But sometimes it feels like Disney is going a little bit more rogue with its sequel choices.

Selena Gomez and the cast of Wizards of Waverly Place on set

Credit: Disney

Recently, Disney decided to produce a sequel series to the iconic Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place. When it streams exclusively on Disney+, this will see the return of Selena Gomez as Alex Russo (for one episode, at least) and David Henrie as her brother, Justin, whose family will serve as the primary characters.

Considering its lingering popularity with younger millennials, it’s not overly surprising that Disney would turn to nostalgic properties like Wizards of Waverly Place for new content. While Disney+ rebounded in the first quarter of 2024, its numbers have not looked good over the past year, with the studio scrambling for ways to pull in and retain new subscribers.

A large collage of various Disney+ movie and TV show posters displayed in a semicircular shape, with a prominent Disney+ logo in the center. The posters feature a wide range of animated and live-action content available on the streaming platform.

Credit: Disney+

Now, we’re hearing that Disney wants to do so by mining another Disney Channel property for sequel gold: High School Musical.

A new report from The Disinsider claims that “Disney is working on a new High School Musical movie for Disney+.” While tha’s exciting enough news in itself, even more exciting is the fact that “word on the streets is [the] goal would be to bring back Zac Efron’s Troy.”

Zac Efron High School Musical

Credit: Disney

Over the course of three films (the last of which made the transition to theaters), High School Musical became a worldwide phenomenon and made mega-stars of all of its cast, including Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez) and Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans).

Of all the stars, however, it’s Zac Efron (Troy Bolton) who went on to reach the highest level of stardom. Only recently, he was widely praised by critics for his turn as famed wrestler Kevin Von Erich in The Iron Claw (2023), as well as receiving his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December.

The whole basketball team in High School Musical

Credit: Disney

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While several stars have commented on their desire to return to the franchise (which focused on a group of students at East High School who are split between music and the “status quo”), Efron has always seemed like the least likely to reprise his role – but of The Disinsider is correct, it sounds like we should start slashing those odds ASAP.

The team behind High School Musical: The Musical: The Series – the Olivia Rodrigo-led Disney+ series that set in the “real” East High School where High School Musical was filmed – previously admitted that they wanted to bring Efron, Hudgens, and Tisdale back for the show’s final season, but that their schedules (especially Efron’s) proved too challenging.

“It was definitely discussed,” showrunner Tim Federle told Entertainment Weekly. “Here’s my fully transparent answer: First of all, Zac is busy. He has 20 movies going. Second of all, Ashley’s in LA launching a very successful line of products, and she’s a new mom, and she’s launching her own show at CBS. Vanessa’s super busy and so gracious.”

Credit: Disney

However, just because Efron didn’t have time for a quick cameo, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have time for a fully-fledged sequel. Unlike a lot of actors who get their start in mega-franchises, Efron has never talked down on his time as Troy, and only recently repeated his love for the films.

“I still think about it every day — I sing the songs in the shower,” the actor, who’s now 36, said while accepting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

A young man with brown hair wearing a plaid shirt leans against a wooden structure, smiling at a young woman with long dark hair in a white dress, who is also smiling. They are in a rustic setting with wooden planks and a red lantern visible in the background, almost like stepping into a Disney fairytale.

Credit: Disney

Related: Vanessa Hudgens Returns to ‘High School Musical’ Roots

He then added to High School Musical director Kenny Ortega and producer Bill Borden, both of whom attended the ceremony, “You guys were both instrumental in giving me my start in High School Musical, and for that I’m just eternally, eternally grateful.”

Should the moment (and, let’s face it, the money) be right, we can definitely see Troy Bolton bouncing his basketball back onto the big screen for High School Musical 4. Besides, we have so many questions. Did Troy stick with basketball and music? Are him and Gabriella still together? Did Sharpay get her big break without Troy and Gabriella messing it up for once?! Manifesting that Disney+ gives us the answers ASAP.

Would you like to see Disney make High School Musical 4? Let us know in the comments!

This post Report: ‘High School Musical’ Revival a Disney Priority, May Save Struggling Streaming Service appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Chloe James

Chloë is a theme park addict and self-proclaimed novelty hunter. She's obsessed with all things Star Wars, loves roller coasters (but hates Pixar Pal-A-Round), and lives for Disney's next Muppets project.

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