Friday, March 6, 2009

Disney Gives 'High School Musical 4' The Green Light

"High School Musical 3: Senior Year" was a huge success at the box office last fall, which is probably why Disney has green-lit production for "High School Musical 4." "HSM 4" will return to the home of the first two "High School Musical" movies: your television set.

Perhaps Disney is bringing the fourth installment of the popular franchise back to TV to test out the staying power of the new cast. "The 'High School Musical' trilogy introduced a new generation to the celebrated genre of movie musicals," Gary Marsh, president of entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, told

The site also reports filming should begin later this year for a 2010 release. "In crafting this next iteration, we've challenged the entire creative team to raise the bar again, and create something truly worthy of this extraordinary global phenomenon," Marsh explained.

When MTV News caught up with the original cast of "HSM" late last year, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu all seemed poised to move on from the movies and pass the torch onto the new class. "I think they're great. We really embraced them," Tisdale said of the new cast. "As much as I feel like they'll fill our shoes, I don't feel like they'll fill our characters' shoes. There's only one Gabriella, one Troy, one Sharpay. [But] they're really great kids, and they're just as passionate about the movie as we are."

As eager as Tisdale was to pass the torch onto the new kids, they are just as willing to keep the flames of "HSM" ignited for the franchise's devoted fans. "I think it's more a breath of fresh air for 'High School Musical' as the three new characters," Justin Martin told MTV News while promoting "HSM 3." There's been no official confirmation on who will star in the fourth installment.

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