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Disney Heads Back to High School: Non-Musical 'Prom' is Next


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  • Disney Heads Back to High School: Non-Musical 'Prom' is Next

    Disney will cast a group of young, unknown actors as high school students in a Disney Channel movie with huge franchise potential.

    Sound familiar?

    No, it's not going to be "High School Musical," but it's going to be darn close. Variety reports that Disney is currently developing "Prom," a non-musical, coming-of-age comedy reminiscent of the classic teen films created by John Hughes and Cameron Crowe.

    Early plans had "Prom" being produced for around $5 to $10 million and featuring fresh faces. The studio had been encouraged by "HSM's" ability to launch new stars like Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu, virtual unknowns at the time. The third installment earned $163 million at the worldwide box office in 2008, and was made for around $15 million. But Disney is keeping its budget and casting options for the nine lead roles open until it reads (writer Katie) Wech's script.
    Full Story: Disney dances at 'Prom' - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety
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  • #2
    Re: Disney Heads Back to High School: Non-Musical 'Prom' is Next

    Big fat NOO!!!!!


    • #3
      Re: Disney Heads Back to High School: Non-Musical 'Prom' is Next

      Despite your insightful argument, this makes too much sense.

      As they did with the first 'HSM' film in 2006 - budget maybe $3 to 5 million, cast unknowns (the most cost effective way to go) and throw the promotional machine (Disney Channel, Radio Disney, etc.) at it. If lightning strikes again with even half the success they've got a new franchise. If it doesn't connect, it isn't much of a loss. At the same time, they'll be building new DC stars for future DC original movies and series.

      It shouldn't be that hard to top the all-around quality of 'Camp Rock'.

      Plus invoking the name of John Hughes right now is the only way too go. He has been cited as an inspiration by Best Director Oscar nominee Jason Reitman in his various acceptance speeches throughout awards season, received a nice tribute at the Broadcast Film Critics Awards and is rumored to be honored again with one at the Academy Awards on March 7th.

      BTW Reitman is kicking off a film series tonight with John Hughes' "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" :

      Jason Reitman to show six favorites at New Beverly Cinema -

      Jason Reitman (JasonReitman) on Twitter
      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


      • #4
        Re: Disney Heads Back to High School: Non-Musical 'Prom' is Next

        Is there an echo in here? Yes, I'm looking at you L.A. Times:

        ...But amidst the familiar, one movie did stand out: Ross mentioned a teen comedy, "Prom," which, though it had been in development, wasn't thought to be much of a priority.

        "Honest and authentic," is how Ross described the story of a group of high-schoolers just before the big dance, saying that the film would hark back to the vintage films of Cameron Crowe and John Hughes. Joe Nussbaum, who has some "American Pie" video experience under his belt and also is emerging as a go-to filmmaker for movies about growing up, is directing.

        Citing Hughes and Crowe in reference to any modern movie carries an air of grandiosity, but it's also noble. That era evokes thoughts of movies that were funny, well-made, culturally relevant and made a nice chunk of change to boot.

        But can Disney make a movie like that work? Producing a poignant but still commercial film about high school is a difficult trick for any studio to pull off these days. Most contemporary teenagers see movies about people who are a little older, and even then their preferences lie in the realm of fantasy, a la "Twilight," or melodrama, a la "Dear John," (or Disney's own attempt at same with the recent Miley Cyurs romance "Last Song"). When these movies do go for any dramatic-comedy realism, it's usually with a healthy dose of raunch, kind of in the Judd Apatow mold. ("American Pie" took care of that back in the late '90's.)

        Of course, the fact that no one's doing quite these kinds of films is probably why Ross thinks he can; when there's a hole in the market, someone is always quick to jump into it. But this is an especially difficult task for Disney, which has specialized in capturing a grade-school and, at best, a tween audience in recent years. As one questioner noted Thursday, there's the raunch issue. Disney isn't exactly prepared to go all Apatow on its audience. (Ross was quick to point out that there will be little that's racy in "Prom.") But in eliding the more risque elements, Disney could risk a different problem -- namely, seeming out of touch with the more frankly sexual way that high-schoolers live today.

        Ross isn't new to all this, of course. He has made numerous attempts to capture the teenage when, in his previous guise, he shepherded development on a number of Disney Channel shows, some of which at least were able to depict the high-school experience without resorting to cheap sentiment or easy genre metaphor. It's unlikely that Disney will be creating the new Ferris Bueller, but we just might settle for an elevated Lizzie McGuire.
        Can Disney capture the life of the modern teenager? | 24 Frames | Los Angeles Times
        "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


        • #5
          Re: Disney Heads Back to High School: Non-Musical 'Prom' is Next

          I wonder if Ross will do a cameo as a cheerleader?

          The man has no taste. He'd find a better home at Nickelodeon. And I wish he would.


          • #6
            Re: Disney Heads Back to High School: Non-Musical 'Prom' is Next

            oh crap no.


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