By Karina Schink
Wildcats, everywhere, wave your hands up in the air, because it’s time to go back to East High in a totally new way. The story of High School Musical continues next year when High School Musical: The Musical premieres on Disney’s upcoming streaming service. And while we gave you the first inside “hoop” in September, we now have even more news to share! Let’s get to it…
Seventeen-year-old Joshua Bassett has officially been cast in the lead role of high school junior Ricky in the upcoming series. The 10-episode story will follow the cynical but charming Ricky as he attempts to win back his ex-girlfriend, Nini, by auditioning to star opposite her in the school’s production of High School Musical.
Bassett is no stranger to song-and-dance, having performed in more than 30 musical theater productions. An actor, singer, dancer and guitarist, you might recognize him from Disney Channel’s Stuck in the Middle and he also appears in the upcoming crime anthology Dirty John. For Bassett, starring in this new story is a dream come true. “As someone whose childhood was shaped by the cultural phenomenon that is High School Musical, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to tell this story. Go Wildcats!”
Disney Channels Worldwide President and Chief Creative Officer Gary Marsh said, “Joshua’s interpretation of the Ricky character was brilliant—funny, winning and, at the same time, uniquely vulnerable. The audience is going to love watching this charismatic young actor put his stamp on this next chapter of the High School Musical franchise.”
High School Musical: The Musical will film on location in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will feature a single-camera documentary style. The series is executive produced by novelist, former Broadway performer and Golden Globe® and Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter, Tim Federle (Ferdinand), as well as Emmy Award®-nominated producer Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars, Ugly Betty), who also serves as showrunner. Emmy Award-winning High School Musical executive producers Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush are also set to executive-produce the series.
Our heads are in the game, and our hearts are ready for the songs, as we wait anxiously on the sidelines for more information about High School Musical: The Musical to drop and to watch the drama unfold on the East High stage (and behind the East High scenes) when it premieres next year.