Ashley Tisdale, who played Sharpay Evans in previous High School Musical films, will not return for the fourth film in the franchise, according to EW.com.
In an interview with New You, Tisdale says, “Looking back, it was such a perfect thing for its time and was so pure that I just don’t know how you go from there.… High School Musical didn’t make us, we made High School Musical because of our friendship, how close we were, and the magic there at the time. Kenny Ortega just made it what it was. Disney is an amazing company so I’m sure they’ll find some way to do it.”
Peter Barsocchini, who wrote all three previous movies, is co-writing the new script with Dan Berendsen (Baby Daddy). Jeffrey Hornaday (Disney’s Teen Beach Movie series) has stepped in as director and choreographer. Deadline.com previously reported, “The movie will again be set at East High and follow the school’s famous Wildcats,” but no further details were given. The film will introduce a “new cast of characters and actors to a new generation,” according to Variety.
A High School Musical 4 sequel was announced in 2010, but was never produced.
The original films starred Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens (then billed as Vanessa Ann Hudgens). Hudgens starred on Broadway in Gigi and on TV in Grease Live! No word on whether they will have any participation in the new film.
The original film was seen by 7.7 million viewers; its soundtrack went triple platinum. It was the first TV soundtrack to hit #1 on the Billboard album chart.
No timetable for the the broadcast debut of the new film has been announced.