Zac Efron Talks ‘High School Musical’ Amid New Movie Buzz

in Disney, Entertainment

Zac Efron as Troy Bolton in Disney's 'High School Musical'.

Credit: Disney (Left), Zac Efron Instagram (Right)

In a new interview, Zac Efron discusses his High School Musical career, stating that he has nothing but love for the franchise.

Zac Efron High School Musical
Credit: Disney

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Few names are as synonymous with Hollywood or Disney as Zac Efron, with the 36-year-old actor becoming a teen idol overnight thanks to The Walt Disney Company and its in-house children’s programming hub, The Disney Channel. Efron began his professional acting career in the early 2000s and hit it big thanks in large part to a little Disney Channel original movie called High School Musical. 

High School Musical premiered in 2006 on the Disney Channel and helped create one of Disney’s most iconic film franchises of all time. Direct-to-tv movies are often disregarded for their cheap budgets or corny acting, but High School Musical felt different. Disney was able to create not only a captivating (albeit cliche) story but also a full-fledged musical featuring a fantastic cast. The original film was an instant hit, quickly becoming one of the most successful Disney Channel original movies ever. At the time, the cast was fairly unknown. But reading names like Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale in 2023 shows you just how incredible the first film was. Of course, Disney would be quick to develop multiple sequels.

High School Musical 2 was released the following year in 2007 and was another smash success for Disney and the Disney Channel. The songs were more memorable, and the set design really popped. High School Musical 2 was watched by nearly 20 million people the night it premiered, solidifying it as one of the most popular Disney Channel original movies, alongside the original High School Musical. Things got interesting with the third and final High School Musical film, with High School Musical 3: Senior Year getting an official theatrical release in 2007. All three movies were incredibly successful financially, as well as critically, launching their core stars into the world of Hollywood shortly after.

In an interview with AP Entertainment (@AP Entertainment), Efron states that he is “very proud” of these films.

Zac Efron was recently honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, further cementing Efron’s legacy. Zac Efron was undoubtedly the most successful post-Disney, becoming one of the most recognizable and famous actors working in Hollywood today.

“It’s impossible to look back on High School Musical with anything except absolute love and joy. That’s my formative years. It’s everything to me.” Efron also paid tribute to the late Mathew Perry, who he co-starred alongside with in 2009’s 17 Again.

Zac Efron stars in the highly-anticipated film from Sean Durkin and A24 called The Iron Claw, which sees Efron star alongside Jeremy Allen White (Shameless, The Bear). Efron has received widespread acclaim for his portrayal of Kevin Von Erich, a real-life professional wrestler. The Iron Claw received mass praise too, debuting at 92% on Rotton Tomatoes. The film will be released worldwide on December 22, 2023. Over the last several years, A24 has become one of the largest names in films, producing some of the most critically acclaimed and beloved movies of the last decade, such as Lady Bird (2017), Uncut Gems (2019), The Lighthouse (2019), Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) and Past Lives (2023)

E.J. and Nini stare at each other in 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series'
Credit: Disney

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This is far from where Disney’s High School Musical story ends. There have been rumors of a High School Musical 4 for many years, but nothing has ever been confirmed or denied by Disney. There’s no doubt that the audience would be there for a potential reboot or revival of the series, but Disney managed to take the franchise in an interesting direction regardless.

In 2019, Disney created its own original series based on the franchise called High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. This was a totally new creation by Disney for its Disney+ streaming service, and in a similar fashion, it also helped launch several young actors into the Hollywood spotlight. Worldwide sensation Olivia Rodrigo became a household name after taking on a leading role in the series.

Do you enjoy the High School Musical franchise?

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