Disney High School Musical: China
Clearly not happy with merely an ESL school empire and a theme park in the works, Disney is setting its sights back on film, announcing that it’s partnering with the Huayi Brothers to produce a "Disney High School Musical: China."
If all goes according to plan, the movie should hit theaters next summer.
"Disney's ongoing commitment to local content development underpins our strategy to connect with new audiences around the world," says Jason Reed, general manager, Walt Disney Studios International Production in Disney’s press release. "Our local team has done an amazing job and we are fortunate to be building on the Disney Channel's success by working with a world class cast and crew led by our producer Janet Yang and visionary director Shi Zheng Chen."
Reed explains there are some similarities with the original "High School Musical," "but we wrote an original screenplay from the ground up. This is inspired by the spirit of the first one."
"Disney High School Musical: China" will tell “the story of a new student who meets a gifted young man with whom she shares a secret passion for singing," says Variety. "With the help of their friends, they overcome the odds to win an interschool singing competition and discover their true calling in the process.”
"Disney High School Musical: China" is being filmed in Shanghai and features six new Chinese stars. Since the film itself already has a following, getting big names was not the main concern. Reed explains, "The young stars are not as well known as they will be soon. The key for us was that they could sing and dance and whether they had the energy and charisma needed." Here’s to finding the Chinese Zac Efron.