Jeffrey Hornaday To Helm Disney Channel's 'HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL EAST MEETS WEST'

Renowned choreographer and director, Jeffrey Hornaday ("Flashdance," "A Chorus Line", "Shout"), will helm "High School Musical East Meets West," the fourth movie in the franchise that is a cultural sensation around the world. The announcement was made to the media earlier this month by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide.

The Disney Channel Original Movie, written by Peter Barsocchini, is scheduled to debut in 2010.

Casting is underway for the fourth story of the celebrated "High School Musical" franchise, a classic story set against the cross-town school rivalry between the East High Wildcats and West High Knights.

"The creative challenge for 'High School Musical East Meets West' is to deliver every element that the audience expects, and then re-invent those elements in a bold new way. Clearly, we're thrilled to have our screenwriter from all three 'HSM' movies back, along with our producing and songwriting teams. Adding a dynamic, imaginative, visual stylist like Jeffrey Hornaday as our director/choreographer introduces the perfect catalyst to take this team to the next level."

"I'm excited to be part of a franchise that, thematically, encourages kids to believe in themselves," said Hornaday. "Like the first three movies, my goal is to keep the art form of the traditional musical alive, yet bring a contemporary emotional response to the story and its characters through song and dance."

Hornaday choreographed "Flashdance," "A Chorus Line," "Dick Tracy," "Captain Eo," "Carlito's Way," "Shout" and "Romancing the Stone." His directing credits include world concert tours for Madonna, Paul McCartney, Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Reba McEntire and Lionel Richie.

The executive producers of "High School Musical East Meets West" are Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush and the producer is Don Schain.

Young Hollywood favorites, and the "clique crossed" romantic leads of the last three installments, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens will not be returning for this small screen outing. Various reports have revealed that the new Wildcats - Jemma McKenzie Brown, Justin Martin and Matt Prokop - introduced in the big screen High School Musical 3 are all set to return to East High's halls for "High School Musical East Meets West."

Disney's "High School Musical" premiered in January 2006 on Disney Channel U.S. and posted the highest ever ratings for a Disney Channel Original Movie at the time. It went on to become a smash hit internationally, airing on Disney Channels and free-to-air broadcasters worldwide. To-date, it has reached more than 290 million viewers, in over 30 languages, across 100 countries, including India, China and Russia.

The "High School Musical" soundtrack was the #1 album of 2006 and the DVD was the year's #1 TV movie on DVD. "High School Musical" also delivered licensed amateur and professional touring stage productions, a bestselling junior novel, a popular consumer products franchise at mass retailers, a themed show at Disneyland Parks and Resorts in Anaheim, Orlando and Paris, and a sold-out 42-date arena concert tour in North America and Latin America. Its critically acclaimed sequel, "High School Musical 2," ranks as the #1 basic cable telecast of all time (18.6 million viewers for its August 17, 2007 premiere) and thus far has been seen by nearly 300 million Total Viewers, in over 30 languages, around the world. The "High School Musical 2" soundtrack is triple Platinum and its DVD release was the top-selling TV property on DVD for 2007. Walt Disney Pictures debuted "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" in October 2008. Its premiere weekend box office sales marked the highest debut ever for a musical and for a live-action G-rated film. It grossed $250 million at the worldwide box office.

A theatrical version of the first film, High School Musical on Stage! with music and lyrics by Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray and Greg Cham, Drew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Andy Dodd, Adam Watts, Bryan Louiselle, David N. Lawrence, Faye Greenberg and Jamie Houston, and a book by David Simpatico, has quickly become a very popular choice for high school musical theatre productions. 

Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in over 97 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group.

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