LOS ANGELES — In the minds of millions of "High School Musical" fans, the most terrifying thought would be if stars like Ashley Tisdale and Zac Efron didn't return for their big-screen goodbye. While such matters might still be in doubt, however, there is one other thing they can stop fearing: a haunted "High School."
"Yeah, I don't think the haunted thing lasted very long," Efron told us on the red carpet of his new movie "Hairspray," confirming that the previously announced "Haunted High School Musical" concept has officially been abandoned for their third film (see " 'High School Musical' Stars Dish On Sequel's Showstoppers, Love Triangles").
"I don't know that it's 'Haunted High School Musical' anymore," his co-star Tisdale confirmed. "I think they just kind of threw that out there."
So now, with "High School Musical 2" continuing the Disney Channel phenomenon on August 17, and the tours and soundtracks selling like hotcakes, the next question seems simple enough: What will Troy, Sharpay, Montez, Chad and the others be doing when they return for their third high-stepping adventure?
"I think it's going to be more of senior year," Tisdale said of the concept, which would allow the characters to say goodbye more naturally.
"I would love to do a senior version of 'High School Musical,' " Efron agreed, admitting that he likes it a lot more than the original idea of ghosts invading East High (see " 'High School Musical' Star Zac Efron Pulling A Reverse Tom Hanks With 'Seventeen' "). "I think ending the series as a theatrical film would be amazing."
The notion of a graduation-theme finale seems to bode well for getting Efron and Tisdale (as well as breakouts Corbin Bleu and Vanessa Anne Hudgens) to finally sign on the dotted line. In the meantime, the stars continue to support each other, and are most likely waiting until next month's ratings come in before they make any announcements.
"All I know is that there's a 'High School Musical 3,' and we're in talks," Tisdale said of the negotiations. "We haven't read the script. We would definitely want to read the script on it — all six of us. But yeah, we'd definitely love to do another one — that would be awesome."
If and when they do return, however, Efron revealed his own thoughts on how he'd like to see Troy Bolton ride off into the sunset.
"I'd like to see Troy leave a great legacy at East High," grinned the fast-rising star, who this week announced plans to act in a "Footloose" remake. "It would be very fun [to make a third movie]. I would also love to play basketball again. But we'll see."
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