Dave Gee: Entertainment Now: High School Musical 3 confirmed; No longer Haunted
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Casting has been confirmed for High School Musical 3, the third in Disney's hit musical movie franchise. Despite speculation that Vanessa Hudgens may have been dropped after her nude photo scandal, she is back onboard, along with boyfriend Zac Efron.

(20-year old Efron was rushed to hospital in LA this week to have his appendix removed, after complaining of severe abdominal pain - at least, that was the "official" story... ;-) He's been filming the movie Seventeen, alongside former Friends star Matthew Perry.)

All of the other main actors from the original hit films have also re-signed for the third instalment, including Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman. HSM Director Kenny Ortega is back on board, along with writer Peter Barsocchini.

Shooting for the US $14 million movie is set to begin in Utah in late April. However, unlike the first two High School Musical films, which premiered on the Disney Channel before being released on DVD, HSM3 will be released first in cinemas this October.

The title of the big screen sequel is High School Musical 3: Senior Year. (Disney have dropped their original idea of a Halloween-themed film, which was to be named Haunted High School Musical).

High School Musical 3 will focus on the senior year of the characters at East High. Troy and Grabriella prepare to head off in different directions to college, and face the prospect of being separated. Along with the rest of the Wildcats, the high school seniors stage an "elaborate spring musical" as they look towards their future.

* Check out the huge range of High School Musical & High School 2 merchandise, including DVDs, clothes, dolls, books, toys, and more great High School Musical Gifts at the High School Musical Shop...