Disney Channel announced on March 1, 2016, the search for the next batch of Wildcats was under way. Yes, High School Musical 4 was finally happening, a decade after the first HSM film ever came into our lives. It was the start of something new indeed since in that initial tweet that sent everyone into a frenzy let us know this was clearly a whole chapter in the saga.
Calling all #Wildcats! A nationwide casting search begins today for #HighSchoolMusical4! #HighSchoolMusical #HSM pic.twitter.com/CqE51CfbQQ— Disney Channel PR (@DisneyChannelPR) March 1, 2016
Calling all #Wildcats! A nationwide casting search begins today for #HighSchoolMusical4! #HighSchoolMusical #HSM pic.twitter.com/CqE51CfbQQ
But ever since that first tweet, what exactly has been going on? Well, the status of the movie seems to still be that it's a work in progress, still in the beginning stages although it has been more than a year since the big announcement came about. Let us break down everything that is known about the mysterious Disney Channel Original Movie so many of us are waiting to hear more about:
Just like the first three films, this movie will take place at East High, focusing on the Wildcats once again and their rivals, the West High Knights. So far, five central characters have been reported to be the center of this next movie. Here's the breakdown of each one:
Erin: She's the only girl on the boys' soccer team, who starts falling for the bad boy.
Derek: The resident bad boy Erin is crushing on who at his core, is a sweet guy after all. He plays soccer too and just so happens to be a fabulous dancer.
Campbell: He's the captain of the soccer team who excels in theater as well and just so happens to be Sharpay and Ryan Evans' cousin. (ANOTHER EVANS FAMILY MEMBER THOUGH!) He has a crush on Erin, but as we already know, she has her sights on Derek so we totally sense a love triangle brewing here!
Nathalie: She's a cheerleader and Erin's best friend.
Tamara: She is on the cheer squad too, but she is no longer the star of the school, and this loss of attention and popularity is something she plans on reclaiming, no matter what.
There already was a casting-call in May of 2016 that OG star Corbin Bleu made a surprise appearance at.
But there hasn't been an official casting update as to which unknown actors have snagged these roles yet.
Vanessa admitted she's ready to pass the torch and see what happens in the next chapter since she feels she's too old to be playing a high school student on Disney Channel again.
"I mean, I'm 28. I could be a teacher, but I refuse to be a teacher! I'm still a teenager at heart," Vanessa confessed to E! Online. "So probably not with me, but I'm excited to see what they whip together."
So looks like Gabriella won't be gracing the halls of East High.
And what about our girl Sharpay herself? Well, Ash made it clear she's ready to move on too.
"No. 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," Ashley explained. "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. Disney is an amazing company so I’m sure they’ll find some way to do it."
But at least she reunited with her on-screen twin Lucas Grabeel to sing a new and improved version of their song "What I've Been Looking For" from the first movie. And speaking of...
A more hopeful response! When we caught up with the actor, he didn't necessarily say he would want to be in the new movie exactly, but when we asked him if he would down for a reunion, he was all for it.
"Yeah, of course. If Disney calls, my door is always open. We work well together," Lucas exclusively told us. So basically if the OG crew wants to get together again, like they did to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the film that started it all, then Lucas is here for it. AND SO ARE WE.
The actor hasn't flat out commented on the upcoming movie quite yet, and while he has in the past threw some shade at his big break, he clearly knows and respects where he came from. Just take the fact that he posted a lovely throwback photo from 2008 of this time in his life and looked back on it fondly. "So grateful I came across this picture... With the o.g. crew during one of the most cherished and exciting times of my life. Love you guys forever. #fbf," he wrote in the caption.
So grateful I came across this picture... With the o.g. crew during one of the most cherished and exciting times of my life. Love you guys forever. #fbf A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on May 27, 2016 at 5:42pm PDT
So grateful I came across this picture... With the o.g. crew during one of the most cherished and exciting times of my life. Love you guys forever. #fbf
A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on May 27, 2016 at 5:42pm PDT
Plus, he even admitted that his favorite HSM moment ever from High School Musical 3: Senior Year actually makes him quite emotional.
"I don't know there's so many. I mean the finale when the curtains close tears me up. All of it," Zac said. SAME ZAC, SAME. So as of right now though, most of the main cast has made it clear HSM 4 is a new era and they don't have any plans to appear in this specific movie. But someone from the cast who seems to be super excited about possibly coming back? Coach Bolton. Bart Johnson, who played Troy's dad, took to YouTube to share a hilarious video where he's in character as Jack Bolton auditioning for the role of Coach Bolton. And yes, it's amazing.
Perhaps he would really reprise his role in this new movie! We can only hope.
The legend that is Kenny Ortega directed all three of the HSM movies but when this project was first announced, it was said that Jeffrey Hornaday, who worked on Teen Beach Movie, will direct and choreograph HSM 4. But Kenny admitted he is open to being involved with the movie too.
"I would like to. I would like to be a part of it in any way that I can. I had the time of my life it started a whole new career for me," Kenny said to People's Choice. He explained in another interview that he doesn't know if he can actually work on the movie if the opportunity arises, since he might be committed to another project, but he's willing to offer his support, which is the sweetest.
"There has been talk that there is going to be a fourth. It’s too early to know whether or not my schedule is going to allow my involvement but I am excited for the fans that have never stopped wishing for another episode. And if there’s anything that I can do to be supportive on any level, I would be more than happy to," Kenny said.
When he was asked about the HSM reboot during an interview he did while promoting Descendants 2, Kenny made it clear he's fully aware OG fans would love to see him and the first set of Wildcats back in East High for this fourth movie. But while we all want it to happen, there's a chance it most likely won't though.
"[The fans] are talking about how we want you to bring High School Musical 4 and we want you to bring the original cast back. And I'm like, they just don't look like they're in high school anymore," Kenny explained. "I wish that I could give the fans another one, I think we all do, I think we all wish that so that we don't disappoint the fans. And so that they embrace this new journey, I think you have to begin again. And I think that it's hard for some of our fans to let go. That was their childhood and they don't want their childhood to go away. And so my answer to that is watch Descendants 2!"
Well, since there isn't any footage out there that we know of so as of right now, that would be a no. BUT, there is a fan-made trailer that has circulated on a High School Musical 4 Facebook page from the YouTube account hsmutube that is legit so convincing and makes it seem that Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Taylor and Chad will be the stars of this next installment that takes place ten years later. Take a look:
ISN'T IT AMAZING? Seriously brought a tear to our eyes. And we're not the only ones! Bailee Madison, a Disney Channel alum who has said in the past she would love to be in this next installment, even took to Twitter to share her feelings and she's totally on the same page as all of us.
Same, girl. Monique Coleman, who played Taylor in the HSM movies, said in an interview she was totally impressed by this fan-made trailer too.
"It gave us all, all the feels. We were like who did this, where did they get all these feels from and how did thye put them together?" Monique said. "Honestly, I would do that movie. It looked amazing, it looked so real! [Taylor] would be running something, running a non-profit."
She already has a storyline in mind, this is TOO MUCH. Vanessa was later asked in an interview with Young Hollywood about the trailer and yes, she saw it and loves it just as much as the rest of us.
"I saw it on Monique's Instagram, actually. I kind of died [watching it]. I loved it," Vanessa said. "I had dinner with Ashley that night that I saw it and I was like 'Babe, did you see this? This is insane.' And she was like 'Oh my God, yeah. If we did that movie, I would do that movie." And I was like 'I would too. That's amazing.'"
Umm, okay so V had said she was ready to pass on the baton to the new crop of Wildcats in Disney Channel's upcoming HSM 4 but it looks like she might just be down for a 10-year later, the squad is all grown up and reunited movie, as would Ashley. This is honestly the greatest. But sadly this trailer is not real and all of the footage in this clip is from other roles the cast has had. Props to whoever made this though because it is some next-level sorerecy up in here.
As of right now, there isn't any official release date, but we'll be waiting until there is one. It's bound to happen, right?
Watch: Coach Bolton Gets Recognized By Fans & It's the Greatest Moment
East High from 'High School Musical' Is Literally Destroyed After Flash Flood
These Epic 'High School Musical' Reunions Will Give You All the Feels
A Timeline of Troy and Gabriella's 'High School Musical 2' Journey, Because That Rough Patch Still Wrecks Our Hearts
This post was originally published on July 28, 2017, and has since been updated with new information.