INTERNATIONAL CASTING SEARCH FINDS THREE RISING YOUNG TALENTS TO PLAY SOPHOMORE "WILDCATS" IN WALT DISNEY PICTURES' BIG SCREEN FEATURE "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR"
An international casting search involving over 1000 teen actors across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom has led to the casting of three rising young talents - Matt Prokop, Justin Martin, and Jemma McKenzie-Brown - as sophomore "Wildcats" in Walt Disney Pictures' upcoming theatrical production of "High School Musical 3: Senior Year."
The trio of new stars will join the original "High School Musical" cast -Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman -- in this all new feature film, which begins shooting later this month. Kenny Ortega, who helmed the first two "High School Musical" films for Disney Channel, will once again direct, in addition to adding new duties as executive producer. "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" will be produced by William Borden and Barry Rosenbush, Don Schain will serve as line producer.
Commenting on the announcement, Ortega said, "Peter Barsocchini's exciting script for 'High School Musical 3' called for the addition of three sophomore characters, so we set out on a massive casting search across North America and England to find just the right young actors to play the parts. We think these talented performers will bring lots of humor, new twists, and musical fun to the film. Jemma was one of the many young actresses that we met in London, and she impressed us with her singing and dancing, in addition to being very exciting and effervescent. Matt has a terrific personality, and a great sense of comedy and fun. And Justin had a great presence and charisma, besides being a wonderful comedic actor who could really dance. I am confident that the three new actors joining our original cast will help to bring great musical thrills, surprises and a lot of fun to Senior Year and the halls of East High."
Jemma McKenzie-Brown's previous television credits include a supporting role in the BBC production of "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard." Matt Prokop has had featured film roles in "Marked," "Walking Miracles," "Somewhere Else" and "Four Square." His television credits include "The Office," "The O.C.," and Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana." Justin Martin's film credits include "The Last Adam," "Doing Hard Time," "The Vineyard," and "A Message from Pops." He has also appeared in the television shows "Judging Amy," "Malcolm in the Middle," "The Bernie Mac Show," among others. For the Broadway stage, Martin appeared as Young Simba in "The Lion King."
"High School Musical 3: Senior Year" finds high school seniors Troy and Gabriella facing the prospect of being separated from one another as they head off in different directions to college. Joined by the rest of the Wildcats, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes and fears about their future. With incredible new music and exciting dance numbers designed to take maximum advantage of the big screen, this motion picture extravaganza delivers plenty of high-energy entertainment from East High's talented ensemble. The feature film will be shot on location in Utah and set for release in U.S. theaters on October 24, 2008 and in Australia on November 27th, 2008.
Disney's "High School Musical" and "High School Musical 2" in Australia were record breakers. The premiere of "High School Musical 2" in September 07 on Disney Channel was the highest rating telecast of any kind with kids 5-15 with subscription TV. It propelled the Disney Channel to its highest rated day ever with an average audience of 313,976, a 134% increase over the average audience for the June 06 premiere of "High School Musical."
The success continues with the DVD sales, with High School Musical the number 1 selling Direct to Video movie of all time, selling over 250k to date followed by High School Musical 2 with over 190k units sold in only 15 weeks of release.
The original soundtrack through Walt Disney Records reaching #1 on the ARIA National Album Chart and #4 with "High School Musical 2" soundtrack, with both soundtracks being accredited with Platinum Sales in Australia.