Oh, man. It’s been a whopping four years since the original “High School Musical” came out. So much has happened since that faraway, more innocent time. The iPad, for example. Didn’t have that in 2006, that’s for sure. Anyway, the folks at Disney know just how ancient that franchise is in today’s hustle and bustle world. Why, Zac Efron is already 22! That’s, like, after college old! That’s SO old! We clearly need a new batch of ready-made Disney stars who will captivate tweens and have the good sense to not pose nude for Annie Leibovitz. So the company is making “Prom,” a new Disney Channel flick featuring ten up-and-coming young actors. Nellie Andreeva at Deadline explains:
Disney has assembled the cast of Prom, its high-school comedy feature revolving around a group of teens and the emotional ups and downs they go through prepping for the big dance. The studio stuck to its original plan to cast mostly unknown young actors as the leads in the movie, which is eyed as a potential launching pad for a franchise in the mold of High School Musical and whose tone is said to be similar to John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. Cast as the leads in Prom are: Thomas McDonell, Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights), Danielle Campbell, Nolan Sotillo, Yin Chang (Gossip Girl), Jared Kusnitz (Surviving Suburbia), Nicholas Braun (10 Things I Hate About You), Ben Esler (The Pacific), Kylie Bunbury and DeVaughn Nixon. Joe Nussbaum is directing from a script by Katie Wech. Ted Griffin and Justin Springer are producing.
It’s not clear that “Prom” will be a musical. It appears it will be a straight live action comedy. Thus, the only things it will really have in common with “High School Musical” are a young cast a comically generic title for itself. I’m very excited for Disney’s next iteration of TV movie franchise, titled, “Young People Who Send Text Messages And Stuff.” It’s gonna be wild.
Anyway, expect the Disney marketing machine to turn “Prom” into a giant phenomenon that you, Mr. Ten Years Too Old, won’t have any knowledge of until it’s already passed its cultural zeitgeist. After that, it’s on to casting the next group of fresh faces. Because they get old just so darn quickly, don’t they?