‘High School Musical’ Was Going to Be a Sequel to This Famous Movie

High School Musical is one of the most famous Disney musicals of the 2000s — and it was originally a sequel to one of the most famous musicals of all time. This sequel was originally going to star a number of 1990s celebrities before evolving into a different project. Here’s a look at the movie High School Musical was originally going to be.

Ashley Tisdale, Zac Efron, and Vanessa Hudgens | Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

A look at the 1990s film ‘High School Musical’ could have been

High School Musical is a film about a pair of high schoolers who are part of different cliques but fall in love despite outside pressures. For a lot of kids from the 2000s, it probably seemed very original. However, it definitely has some similarities to a famous musical from a previous decade.

In terms of plot and tone, High School Musical is very similar to Grease. The major difference is that Grease features references to teen pregnancy, smoking, and virginity that might not fly on the Disney Channel.

“Breaking Free”

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These similarities aren’t an accident, High School Musical was originally supposed to be Grease 3. While the original Grease is a classic, the sequel languished in obscurity, so it’s no surprise that there was never a Grease 3. However, Entertainment Weekly reports a member of the Grease cast tried to make Grease 3 happen in the 1990s — and it was a lot different from High School Musical.

‘Grease 3’ would have starred these major actors

During the party celebrating the DVD release of Grease, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John performed a duet of “You’re the One That I Want,” one of the most iconic songs from the film. After that, Did Conn, who played Rizzo in the original film, asked Paramount Pictures’ Sherry Lansing if she could produce a sequel set two decades after Grease in the 1970s. The film would focus on disco music and the children of characters from Grease.

“You’re the One That I Want”

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According to The Guardian, the film would have starred the members of NSYNC, alongside another celebrity. Rumors has it the celebrity was supposed to be Britney Spears. “It’s gonna be a huge, huge movie, and we’ve got some major, major people in it,” a member of NYSNC said. “We’re the five stars of it with another person that you’re gonna know very well.” This film was never made. However, the book Grease Is the Word: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon says High School Musical was originally going be to Grease 3.

The other ‘High School Musical’/’Grease’ connection

The connection between Grease and High School Musical did not end there. Grease: Live aired in 2016 as part of a trend of live television musicals. Zac Efron discussed the possibility of acting in this remake. “That’s an honor,” he said. “Those are big shoes to fill. I think I came as close to it as you could in High School Musical. To actually do that? Yeah, those are big shoes.” While Efron did not appear in Grease: Live. Vanessa Hudgens, who appeared in the first three High School Musical films, played Betty Rizzo in Grease: Live