Well, you can all breathe easy now. After all the hubbub over whether the entire cast of Disney's remarkably successful High School Musical franchise would return for the third film in the series, all the main cast has finally signed on to come back one more time. Variety reports that all six leads -- Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman -- have signed on to return for High School Musical 3, which will hit a theater near you on October 24.
There was concern over whether Vanessa Anne Hudgens, who plays female lead Gabriella, would be back for the third film after some nudie pics she sent to boyfriend (and High School Musical heartthrob) Zac Efron leaked out onto the internet. Then there was concern over whether Disney would fork over enough cash to entice Efron himself to return (and sorry, but you just cannot have High School Musical 3 without Efron asTroy -- the tween girlies of America would unite against that in a hurry), given all the big screen success he's enjoying as a result of his High School Musical fame. Efron had a decent turn as Link Larkin in Hairspray (where he finally got to sing all on his own) and has been in talks on several projects, including upcoming pic Seventeen, (kind of a reverse of Big, one of my favorite movies ever -- remember how young and cute Tom Hanks was in that?) in which he will play a man who returns to being a high school student.
I don't know about you, but I'll sleep easier at night knowing the continuing adventures of the Wildcats gang are coming this fall. I can't think of a better way to come down off the headiness of all those serious films at Telluride and Toronto than to hit a screening of High School Musical 3, and find out what happens when Troy and Gabriella head to different colleges. Oh, boy! The possibilities (and opportunities to randomly break out into song-and-dance numbers) are practically endless. If you've got a tween in your life, you'd better start practicing your cool dance moves, and get ready to have more annoyingly-perky-yet-catchy tunes stuck in your head.