Disney has confirmed that it is working on the fourth installment of the "High School Musical" film franchise. According to a statement from the company, the upcoming film will star an entirely new cast.
The production company made the announcement as it kicked off a nationwide talent search for the new cast members of "High School Musical 4." According to USA Today, the casting search started on Tuesday.
Given the fact that Disney is on the lookout for new actors for "High School Musical 4," it's probably safe to say that the series' stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens will not play major roles in the film. But, there's also a possibility that the original cast members of the franchise will appear in the film or, at least, make a cameo.
As noted by Disney, the new cast will still be students from East High, also known as the Wildcats. But, the company also said that the West High Knights will still be in the film as the Wildcats' rivals.
According to Gary Marsh, the chief creative officer and president of Disney Channels Worldwide, the "High School Musical" films embody the spirit of Disney, which is why the company is still dedicated to pursuing and expanding the franchise.
"'High School Musical' is part of Disney Channel's DNA," he said in a statement according to E!. "It embodies all that we stand for. As a way of continuing to embrace that heritage, we're excited to announce the 'start of something new' as we launch a search for a new class of East High Wildcats to star in a fourth installment of the 'High School Musical' franchise."
"High School Musical 4" will be directed by Jeffrey Hornaday, who is credited for helming other Disney projects such as "Teen Beach Movie" and its sequel. Peter Barsocchini, the scriptwriter of the series, will return for the fourth film along with Dan Berendsen, the scribe who wrote for "Hannah Montana: The Movie," "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" and "Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie."
The "High School Musical" franchise began in 2006 and served as the launching point of the acting careers of its cast members such as Efron and Hudgens. Aside from these two, the films also starred Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman.