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An OG 'High School Musical' Star Is Returning For The New Disney+ Series

An OG 'High School Musical' Star Is Returning For The New Disney+ Series

Fans of High School Musical will have no doubt been eyeing the upcoming series based on the hit musical franchise with equal amounts of excitement and scepticism.

But perhaps you'll be swayed to learn an original cast member will making a cameo?

The new TV series - named High School Musical: The Musical: The Series - is set to arrive as a mockumentary format, set in a fictionalised version of East High School, where a drama teacher decides to stage a musical to celebrate the school's affiliation with the original film.

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It sees a whole new cast are auditioning to play the parts of Troy Bolton, Gabriella Montez, and Sharpay Evans in a NEW musical. Yes, it's all very meta.

The cast will sing new versions of the original songs from the High School Musical trilogy (2006-2008), and excitingly, an OG cast member will be back. Showrunner Tim Federle revealed the news while speaking to Entertainment Weekly.

"Every episode should contain Easter eggs and callbacks and references to the original, whether it be with a wink to a prop that pops up on screen or a cameo from an original cast member - which I can confirm happens," he said, cruelly adding: "I just can't say who or when!"

Now that's just mean.

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Olivia Rodrigo stars as female lead Nini Salazar-Roberts in the new 'High School Musical' series. (Credit: Disney)
Olivia Rodrigo stars as female lead Nini Salazar-Roberts in the new 'High School Musical' series. (Credit: Disney)

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is landing on Disney's brand new streaming service, Disney+, today (12th November) in the US. It's not yet confirmed when the platform is coming to the UK but we have reason to believe it's in March 2020.

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"I was always thinking about the original fans, whose childhood I promise I'm not trying to ruin," Federle goes on to say, adding: "But it's a fresh start and brand-new cast, and I want to tell stories that went totally outside the High School Musical universe and engage people in a new way."

The new series, made up of 10 episodes, will star Olivia Rodrigo as Nini Salazar-Roberts, Joshua Bassett as Ricky Bowen, Matt Cornett as E.J. Caswell, Sofia Wylie as Gina Porter, Larry Saperstein as Big Red, Julia Lester as Ashlyn Caswell and Dara Reneé as Kourtney.

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Also cast are Frankie Rodriguez as Carlos, Mark St. Cyr as Mr. Mazzara and Kate Reinders as Miss Jenn.

Joshua Bassett plays male lead Ricky Bowen in the series. (Credit: Disney)
Joshua Bassett plays male lead Ricky Bowen in the series. (Credit: Disney)
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Federle revealed some of the cast members actually wrote some of the songs included in the series.

"There's actually a couple songs over the course of 10 episodes that were written by cast members of mine, because once I learned that Joshua Bassett [Ricky] and Olivia Rodrigo [Nini] are themselves young songwriters and posting their own songs on Instagram, I knew we should just go right to the source," he told EW.

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"They're the real deal. Giving those guys a shot to submit a song and have it be chosen unanimously by me and Disney because the chops were so undeniable, it's a total thrill. It's about eliminating gatekeepers and letting these voices sings as purely as possible."

The show was officially announced in 2018 and was slated as "not a reboot, not a sequel," but instead "the start of something new". In August, Disney revealed the trailer for the new series, and it gave a taste of all the self-referential stuff to come.

Time to get cha head (back) in the game, guys.

Featured Image Credit: Disney

Topics: Disney, TV News, TV Entertainment

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Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.