Hordes of tweens and teens attired in Wildcat team colors of red and white greeted the stars of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” to USC’s Galen Center basketball stadium for Thursday’s premiere.
Once inside the stadium, Disney chairman Dick Cook introduced the cast. Biggest squeals were for squeaky-clean heartthrob Zac Efron, and other returning stars: Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu and the franchise’s latest additions Jemma McKenzie-Brown and Matt Prokop.
Disney prexy of production Oren Aviv said a theatrical version was “not in our sights” until the first two TV movies became worldwide hits, but the universal themes will appeal to viewers across the globe. The cast recently attended preems for the pic in London, Madrid and Paris.
Hudgens said she appreciated having a longer time to rehearse with a theatrical schedule, while Efron, who has two other features coming up, said he will “always be open to musicals.”
Director Kenny Ortega, working the red carpet with his sunglasses-wearing Yorkie, was happy to have more time and a bigger budget to bring a greater dimension to the musical, but mainly, that after directing dozens of TV projects, “my dream was that maybe it would lead back into theatrical films.”