Disney Channel Original Movies — DCOMs, if you will — were all the rage in the early 2000s. The end of that decade saw High School Musical and the massive hit that it was. Not long after that another musical, Camp Rock, came to be. It starred Joe Jonas as Shane Gray and jumpstarted Demi Lovato's career as well. The rest of the Jonas Brothers were also in the film, but that wasn't originally going to be the case. This Camp Rock fact from the Jonas Brothers documentary is just one of many that shocked even hardcore fans. While Nick Jonas nor Kevin Jonas had major roles in the first movie, they did act as Shane's sounding board when it came to his diva lifestyle and actions. Plus, it was a great way for the band as a whole to capitalize on their newfound rising fame. It just wouldn't feel like Camp Rock without the JoBros behind it.
In the documentary, Chasing Happiness which premiered on Amazon Prime June 4, the fact that Joe was cast first without his brothers was revealed by their father, Paul Kevin Jonas. According to the Jonas patriarch, he called the president of the Disney Channel and pitched adding Nick and Kevin to the mix. As fans know, in the final version of the 2008 hit Disney Channel Original Movie, the Jonas Brothers appeared as members of Connect 3, a fictional boy band.
While it might be surprising to hear that Camp Rock almost happened without Nick and Kevin, it's actually not that new of a fact. The director, Matthew Diamond, revealed a similar story in an interview with International Business Times in celebration of the movie's 10th anniversary last June.
In the 2018 interview, Diamond shared that Joe was cast before the group had made it big, and that the original script was slightly different. He claimed that he saw the Jonas Brothers perform and "refashioned the script" to add in the characters of Shane's bandmates Nate and Jason, played by Nick and Kevin, respectively. “We just thought, ‘Oh, this is such a great, interesting thing that he’s got two bandmates to say ‘You’re out of control, you’re going back to Camp Rock and you’re going to learn to behave yourself’ or something,” Diamond explained. “That seemed like a much better idea than an off-screen manager.” It most definitely was; both the movie and its sequel would not be what it is in the minds of its fans today if the whole band hadn't been in the movie.
In the doc, Kevin also dished on what it was like to film Camp Rock, revealing that filming the DCOM actually made them unaware of their rise to fame. As reported by Entertainment Tonight, because they were off in Canada, the Jonas Brothers didn't realize how big "Year 3000" had gotten. They soon realized when they came back and performed at a state fair in Texas. "We had no idea that people were getting excited about the Jonas Brothers," Kevin said. "Well, we found out that day."
At the end of the day, Camp Rock was really a huge bump in the JoBros' career. The film's success made them Disney Channel stars and put them on everyone's radar. Without Camp Rock, would they be the band they are today? Maybe, but Camp Rock definitely holds a special place in the hearts of all JoBro fanatics.