High School Musical Fans Have Questions About Zac Efron’s Return To East High

Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.

SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Zac Efron on set filming 'AT&T's Life, Gig-ified' event on J...
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Is Troy Bolton getting his head back in the game? High School Musical alum Zac Efron returned to the Disney movie series’ East High in a mysterious July 22 Instagram photo. “Don’t you… Forget about me,” the actor captioned the shot of him standing with a raised fist in front of the real Salt Lake City school, referencing both the Simple Minds song and Judd Nelson’s iconic ending pose from 1985’s The Breakfast Club.

In less than 24 hours, the post racked up more than 3.6 million likes and 41,000 comments, including one from Bart Johnson, who played Efron’s father and coach in the original three HSM films, which were released between 2006 and 2008. “Warms coaches ole heart to see this. Welcome home, son. WHAT TEAM!?” Johnson wrote, adding a basketball and paw print emojis. More than anything, though, fans wanted to know what he was doing there. “Reunion? HSM4??? What does this mean?!!!” one follower wrote.

Further fueling speculation, Vanessa Hudgens, who played Troy’s love interest, Gabriella Montez, in the DCOMs, shared a similar post on June 26. “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?” she quoted in the caption of an Instagram video of herself outside East High, set to the tune of her and Efron’s “Breaking Free” duet. While several fans attempted to connect the dots, another shared their wish that Efron and Hudgens will guest star on Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, which is premiering its third season on July 27.

Though the original HSM cast, including Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman, reunited virtually in 2020 for ABC’s Disney Family Singalong special, Efron did not participate. Even so, he told E! in May that he would be interested in a HSM reboot. “Of course, of course,” the actor answered while promoting his 2022 Firestarter remake. “Seriously, having the opportunity in any form to go back and work with that team would be so amazing. My heart’s still there. That would be incredible. I hope it happens.”

Fans clearly share that hope, though neither he nor his reps have shared any details of the reason for his recent visit to East High. So far, HSMTMTS has featured Grabeel and KayCee Stroh, and Bleu will appear as himself in a recurring Season 3 role. Meanwhile, Disney+ has already renewed HSMTMTS for Season 4, further opening the door for a possible on-screen Troy and Gabriella reunion. One actor who won’t be in the mix, however, is Olivia Rodrigo, whose character, Nini, is getting a “proper sendoff” in Season 3.

“I think she’s ready to explore the world outside the halls of East High,” showrunner Tim Federle recently told Entertainment Tonight. “And Olivia herself was having such a monumental explosion in the music industry that it felt like the right thing to, frankly, work with Olivia to say, ‘How do we get you out there into the world with us taking a little bit more of a backseat?’ Which we were all proud to do to support her.”

As for whether or not that could also indicate the start of something new in the form of an Efron and/or Hudgens cameo, fans will have to stay tuned.