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The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ - By EL­IZ­A­BEtH WAGMEIStEr

DIS­NEY Chan­nel is get­ting back into the game with High School Mu­si­cal, of­fi­cially start­ing cast­ing last week on Dis­ney Chan­nel Orig­i­nal Movie High School Mu­si­cal 4, Va­ri­ety has learned.

Com­ing 10 years af­ter High School Mu­si­cal premiered, High School Mu­si­cal 4, which is in de­vel­op­ment, will in­tro­duce a new cast of char­ac­ters and ac­tors to a new gen­er­a­tion.

The po­ten­tial flick is de­scribed as con­tin­u­ing the story of High School Mu­si­cal, while in­tro­duc­ing new East High Wild­cats and their crosstown school ri­vals, the West High Knights.

High School Mu­si­cal 4 was first an­nounced back in 2009. Now with cast­ing be­gin­ning, Jef­frey Hornaday, who di­rected the kids' ca­bler's Teen Beach Movie and Teen Beach 2, is still at­tached to di­rect and chore­o­graph, should the telepic be green­lit – which is likely, given the huge suc­cess of the pop cul­ture jug­ger­naut.

The orig­i­nal High School Mu­si­cal in 2006 starred Zac Efron, Vanessa Hud­gens, Ash­ley Tis­dale, Lu­cas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Cole­man, bring­ing the teen stars to world­wide fame. Re­cently, the group re­united for a 10- year an­niver­sary spe­cial that aired on Dis­ney Chan­nel.

The teen mu­si­cal rom- com spawned two se­quels, in­clud­ing a the­atri­cal re­lease for a third film, which brought in over US$ 250mil ( RM1.03bil) world­wide at the box of­fice. An ad­di­tional spinoff Shar­pay's Fab­u­lous Ad­ven­ture star­ring Tis­dale, was re­leased straightto- DVD in 2011.

At the time of its 2006 de­but, High School Mu­si­cal marked Dis­ney Chan­nel's high­est- rated tele­cast with 7.7 mil­lion view­ers in the United States, and that record was later bro­ken by the se­quel High School Mu­si­cal 2, which brought in 17.3 mil­lion view­ers in Au­gust 2007, be­com­ing the most- watched TV movie of all time.

The film High School Mu­si­cal 3: Se­nior Year marked the big­gest open­ing day for any mu­si­cal film at the box- of­fice, hold­ing the ti­tle un­til it was topped by Les Mis­er­ables in 2012. – Reuters

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