The series's showrunner also shared intel.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is about as self-referential as a show can get without accidentally creating a hole in the space-time continuum. With characters who refer to themselves as the next Vanessa Hudgens and accuse others of “Zac Efronning” their way through life, the in-world easter eggs are everywhere. Original HSM cast member Corbin Bleu is even doing a major guest arc in Season 3. However, despite fan theories, Bleu recently shot down the idea that co-stars Efron and Hudgens will join him in HSMTMTS Season 3.
Rumors about Efron and Hudgens’ involvement with the show began in the weeks leading up to the new season’s premiere on Disney+. On July 22, 2022, Efron (the movie’s Troy Bolton, captain of the East High Wildcats basketball team) posted a photo to his Instagram account in which he is clearly at East High. The image was a tribute to the famous 1980s film The Breakfast Club, with him in the ending Judd Nelson pose, with a fist in the air. The caption read: “Don’t you… Forget about me,” the title of the 1985 film’s soundtrack anthem by Simple Minds.
But Efron wasn’t the only one jumping on the bandwagon to help promote the new series. A few weeks before that, on June 26, Vanessa Hudgens (the film’s heroine, Gabriella Montez) posted an Instagram video tribute in front of East High, set to the first movie’s hit duet “Breaking Free,” which she sang with Efron. Unlike Efron, she used a quote from the actual film: “Do you remember in kindergarten how you’d meet a kid and know nothing about them, then 10 seconds later you’re playing like you’re best friends because you didn’t have to be anything but yourself?”
With both actors now confirmed to have stood in front of East High recently, fans immediately jumped to the obvious conclusion — that Bleu would not be the only guest star from the original trilogy of movies to show up in HSMTMTS Season 3.
But not so fast. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bleu and HSMTMTS showrunner Tim Federle insisted Efron and Hudgens are not in Season 3. Federle said, “You’ve got to ask, I know: ‘What are they doing on the quad?!’” and admitted the photo was “very tantalizing.” But it’s not happening — at least not yet.
“I would be lying to you if I said that there's some big Zac and Vanessa plan at this point,” Federle said. "I've been hammering away at this quietly and slowly for years: As long as this show is on the air, I will not sleep until Zac, Vanessa, Ashley [Tisdale], and Monique [Coleman] do the series in some way. It is all in the works, but I would not hold your breath for a big appearance in Season 3."
For his part, Bleu said it was merely “a coincidence” that Efron and Hudgens posted from the East High set. “The universe does funny things," he told EW. "Clearly the energy is surrounding the project, and we're all feeling it."
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 3 continues with new episodes streaming every Wednesday on Disney+.