High School Musical: The Musical: The Series spoilers follow.
What's up, Wildcats? Excited to revisit East High? Good! Because that's exactly where we're headed following the confirmation that season three is all systems go.
"We are overjoyed to be heading to the great outdoors for season three, and grateful to our partners and friends at Disney Plus for their continued support of our next-generation Wildcats," said series creator and showrunner Tim Federle (via Variety).
So grab some risotto (too soon?), do your stretches, and grab that mic as we sing and dance our way through everything we know about HSM:TM:TS season three.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 3 potential release date: When will it return on Disney+?
Buckle up, because HSM:TM:TS season three will debut on Disney+ on July 27, with new episodes available to stream every Wednesday.
And just when you thought things couldn't get any better, they do! The series has already been renewed for a fourth season by Disney+, so you can be sure that whatever cliffhanger season three leaves us on, we will get our answers.
"This series has been an epic adventure from the start, and I'm beyond grateful that we get to keep making music, telling these stories, and showcasing these exceptional stars," Federle said in a statement.
High School Musical season 3 cast: Who will be in it?
Expect some new faces joining the Wildcats for the upcoming musical, as well as, according to a Disney+ spokesperson, some old faces too.
Firstly, we'll answer the question everyone has been wondering. Will Olivia Rodrigo be back?
The 'Drivers License' singer has shot to super stardom over the past year and has gone on to win a plethora of awards, including three Grammy's. But her sudden global success has raised the question of whether she will reprise her role as Nini in the series.
Unfortunately, Entertainment Tonight reported in March that Rodrigo will be stepping down from her lead role to a recurring role in season three. In May, Deadline confirmed that she will be appearing in season three as a guest star.
When asked about the possibility of Rodrigo coming back full-time, Federle told Entertainment Weekly:
"I don't have a specific plan for that because there's actor contract stuff I can't even touch — it's not for me to make a ruling on. What I will say is, it's hard to imagine High School Musical without Olivia, but Olivia is also experiencing a level of success and fame and opportunity that I would never want to stand in the way of."
Although this news is disappointing, all of our other favourites will be back to reprise their roles as main characters. This includes the following:
• Joshua Bassett as Ricky Bowen
• Matt Cornett as EJ Caswell
• Sofia Wylie as Gina Porter
• Larry Saperstein as Big Red
• Julia Lester as Ashlyn Caswell
• Dara Reneé as Kourtney Greene
• Frankie Rodriguez as Carlos Rodriguez
• Mark St Cyr as Benjamin Mazzara
• Kate Reinders as Miss Jenn
• Joe Serafini as Seb Matthew-Smith
Also joining the cast are the following fresh faces:
High School Musical OG Corbin Bleu, who played Chad Danforth in the franchise, will be back to play himself.
"Adrian Lyles is Jet, Camp Shallow Lake’s mysterious new kid."
"Saylor Bell plays Maddox, a bright-eyed, quick-witted 'techie' who always follows the rules."
"Meg Donnelly (Zombies) will play Val, a confident and funny college student and longtime camper-turned-counselor-in-training, who is ready to choreograph the summer production of Frozen."
"Jason Earles (Hannah Montana) is Dewey Wood, the stone-faced, killjoy of a camp director of Camp Shallow Lake."
Ben Stillwell (Teen Wolf) will play Channing, a cameraman for the docuseries about the camp's production of Frozen.
Aria Brooks (Better Nate Than Ever) will play Alex, an eighth grader and camper at Camp Shallow Lake.
Singer Liamani Segura will appear as Emmy, another eighth grader and first-time camper.
Jordan Fisher may also end up playing a bigger role in the future after his character, Jamie Porter, made an impact at the end of season two.
High School Musical season 3 plot: What will the third season be about?
Our plucky High School Musical heroes have always been pretty good at overcoming challenges – and we're not just talking about the characters there; the creators too.
"The challenge we handed the creative team was Herculean. How do you recapture the joy and the magic of the original High School Musical movie … and simultaneously reimagine it completely?" Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said ahead of the first season's debut (via DeseretNews). "That's like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded. And Tim and Oliver – and this amazingly talented and diverse cast and crew– have done exactly that!"
Their new challenge: following on the success of season two, and growing the Disney+ subscriber base. One of the ways they'll achieve that is through a renewed focus on diversity.
Of course, High School Musical has always had a focus on diverse voices – it’s something that series creator Tim Federle was proud of going into season 2.
"We came into Season 2 feeling like, what can we do better? What can we do bigger? But how can we stay true to our Waiting for Guffman, Christopher Guest roots?" Federle said (via Decider).
"It starts with the cast. Then the writers room, there was a real investment made. It’s a largely female writers room largely made up of women of color, and the voices and authenticity and truth that these incredible writers brought to the table everyday I think really made their way on screen, which was intentional because I wanted to see Dara [Reneé] step into the limelight, as she should, and have a character who isn’t only defined by her relationship to Nini, for instance."
This will 100% continue going into season three, so expect some diverse stories and themes.
Season three sees the story move from Salt Lake City, Utah to Los Angeles, California as the gang goes to theatre camp.
We also know that this season's musical of choice will be Frozen, following on from their performances of High School Musical in season one, and Beauty and the Beast in season two.
It's also possible that we'll hear some renditions of songs from the third High School Musical film, as we did in season two with songs from the second.
As a result of the new location, it could mean that some fan favourites won't be making an appearance as they'll simply decide not to go. (This could be the case for Rodrigo's Nini Salazar-Roberts.)
"I think they [the storylines] were [left more open-ended for Nini]," show creator Tim Federle told Hollywood Life. "I think things are open-ended actually for a number of characters just because you want the maximum flexibility going forward.
"Look, I have so much respect for Olivia as a songwriter and as a human and what her own dreams are. I love High School Musical with Olivia. I think Olivia is a massive part of our success, but I think season three is sort of a TBD in terms of where Nini’s journey would go."
"Choosing the musical for the show is hard because there are so many possibilities," Federle told Hollywood Life. "I think at the end of the day, the music is a really cool storytelling component of the show, but I really think it’s about the character dynamics. It's like Gina and Ricky, Nini and Ricky, and it's Big Red and Ashlyn that I think the audience really tunes in for. That's a big decision we weigh in heavily when choosing the next show."
But, whatever possibilities they’re exploring, expect these new episodes to feature strong writing. Joshua Bassett spoke about how High School Musical: The Series season 3’s scripts are hyping him up.
"I am not [nervous]. I’m very excited. I think we have a really, really awesome season lined up, and I think, you know, it’s gonna be truly a blast. I think we have a lot of really great episodes lined up, and it’s gonna be, I think the most fun one yet, in terms of writing and moral and all that stuff. I’m really excited," he said on The Zach Sang Show.
What happened in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2's finale?
At the end of season two, the Wildcats decided they don't want to compete at the Menkies anymore, and surprisingly enough, their teacher Miss Jen agreed.
As well as this, Benjamin revealed to Miss Jen that he might not end up going to California because he would rather stay with her and try to move things forward romantically. Elsewhere, EJ almost messed things up with Gina, but at the last minute, they realised their mistakes and decided to share their very first kiss.
Gina's brother, Jamie, also made an impact when he offered to work with Nini on producing her music. The future's looking bright for her, but not so much for Ricky, her past love, because he's calling up the mean girl from the rival school for a date. And little does he know that she was the one who sabotaged his transformation scene in Beauty and the Beast...
At least Carlos and Seb are doing well. Expect them to break more ground for LGBTQ+ representation when season three arrives, along with a whole lot of drama from everything else we just recapped from season two.
High School Musical season 3 trailer: When can we see a promo?
A first look at the upcoming season was released on May 20, and it sees Corbin Bleu go up on stage at Camp Shallow Lake to announce this year's musical to the happy campers, Frozen. You can watch it below.
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Keep us bookmarked and we'll keep you updated when the official trailer drops, which we would expect to happen soon.
Seasons one and two of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series are now available to watch in full on Disney+. Season three will premiere July 27 with new episodes every Wednesday.
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