Production has begun on the new Disney+ original series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” Filming began this week in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the new series will help launch Disney+ later this year. The first season will include 10 episodes, and the story starts almost 15 years after the original movie aired from East High. The story follows a group of students as they countdown to the opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.”
Disney teased the story adding “Showmances 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 new soundtrack will include brand-new songs and acoustic “rehearsal room” reinterpretations of songs from the original “High School Musical.”
“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?” said Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. “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!”
The series is developed and executive produced by Tim Federle (“Ferdinand”), alongside showrunner and executive producer Oliver Goldstick (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Ugly Betty”). Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush (the original “High School Musical” trilogy) are also executive producers. Sundance Film Festival-nominated film, television and music video director Tamra Davis (“Empire,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) is directing the first three episodes. The choreographer is Zach Woodlee (“Glee,” “Dumplin’”).
“We are truly excited about this extremely talented cast and the fresh and contemporary take on this globally-beloved franchise,” said Agnes Chu, senior vice president of content, Disney+. “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.”
Joining Joshua Bassett (previously announced), the cast includes 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 Reneé (“Freaky Friday”), Julia Lester (“Mom”), Frankie Rodriguez (“Modern Family”), Larry Saperstein (“Fan Girl”), and Mark St. Cyr (“Doomsday”).
As for Disney+, the service is launching in late 2019. There will be content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. The ad-free programming will offer feature-length films, documentaries, live action and animated series and short-form content, along with access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment.
Disney+ will also serve as the exclusive streaming home for films released by The Walt Disney Studios in 2019 and beyond, including “Captain Marvel,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” and “Dumbo.”