Although it’s been ten years since High School Musical premiered, and Zac Efron has done SO much to distance himself from his Disney past, we will always see him as Troy Bolton deep down. #SorryNotSorry. But while the 28-year-old’s DCOM role will probably follow him forever, he wasn’t the only actor who was ever up for the part. In fact, there were quite a few other small-screen legends who DC execs thought would also make a great Wildcat.
We know it’s hard for you to wrap your head around the fact that Zanessa very easily could’ve never happened and Zac possibly would’ve simply been known as the cutie with the gap teeth from Summerland, but these were things that were VERY possible. Check out all the other young stars who were up to play Troy in HSM:
1. Lucas Grabeel — You know Lucas as the lovable and East High’s lovable and quirky Ryan Evans, but he initially thought he was better suited to be the leading man. “I went in right after Drew Seeley, who ended up singing for Troy in the movie,” he told Buzzfeed. “I obviously heard him because it was in a trailer, so it was really thin walls and I was like, ‘Oh s*it. I’m totally not gonna get this because that guy’s incredible.” The blond ended up getting a callback despite his hesitation, but director Kenny Ortega asked him to learn Ryan’s lines for the next audition. He did, and the rest is history.
2. Drew Seeley — As Lucas mentioned, Drew’s singing voice was the one everyone heard in the first film and assumed was coming out of Zac Efron‘s mouth. But in addition to giving Troy his musical ability in HSM and playing him on tour, this actor actually tested to play the high-schooler for real, but came up a little short.
3. Sterling Knight — This Sonny With a Chance star may have played Zac’s son in 17 Again, but he wasn’t always a fan of the actor. You see, both Sterling and ZE auditioned for HSM and a film called The Derby Stallion around the same time, but the latter came out on top in both cases and booked the roles. But even though the 27-year-old was bitter a first, everything worked out in the end and the two stars are now friends.
4. Hunter Parrish — Hunter has a background in musical theater, so when he heard about an audition for High School Musical, he thought he was the perfect fit and went in to try out. Disney execs agreed and he quickly made his way far into the casting process, but ultimately backed out. “It was down to five guys and then I got offered a part in this amazing Robin Williams movie,” he told GQ magazine. “And I thought to myself: fly to Vancouver and meet the director for this Robin Williams movie, or stay and finish the auditions for the Disney Chanel movie? So I didn’t even go to the last audition. I heard a rumor that I was their favorite, but I never made it to the end. I mean I would have had a blast doing it. But I’m so happy for Zac; he’s the only guy for that.”
5. Matthew Underwood — According to IMDB, the Zoey 101 star was actually offered the role of Troy Bolton, but he had to turn it down because had already signed a contract with Nickelodeon. IMAGINE?!
HSM was SO great as a movie that it actually became a book! These 13 other movies were turned into novels, too:
High School Musical: The Junior Novel
It's no secret that everyone fell in love with the Wildcats after the insanely successful High School Musical movie on Disney Channel. The book series was released the same year and was a re-telling of the story that we came to love. A new novelization was released for each new movie, and a new book series, Stories of East High, was released to give readers a closer look at some of their favorite characters. This book went on to be named a New York Times best-seller and remained there for 16 weeks!
Photo: Disney Press
Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow
Jack Sparrow is one of the most iconic movie characters, and with the massive success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, it was an obvious choice to expand upon the character. The novel series focuses on Jack Sparrow as a teenager and how he became the pirate that we know and love from the films. The events in the book take place before the movies and give its readers a better understanding of why Jack is the way he is.
Photo: Disney Press
Star Trek has been around for over 40 years and has amassed a huge fan following. From comic books, toys, TV shows and movies, there are plenty of ways to get to learn more about Captain Kirk and the adventures of the USS Enterprise. One of the most popular ways is through the books that explore what life is like for the main characters in between the events that happen in the movies. With so many years in between the movies, the books are a good way to stay up-to-date with what is happening in space.
Photo:Simon & Schuster
Star Wars is probably one of the most well-known, loved and profitable franchises of all time. Eleven years passed between the two most recent movies, and thankfully there were tons of books to choose from to learn more about what is happening on our favorite galaxy that is far, far away. Most of the novels focus on the backstory of a particular character or answer forgotten cliff-hangers. Now that the franchise is back and stronger than ever, we're expecting even more books to come.
Photo:Disney Publishing Worldwide
One of Steven Spileberg's most popular works based on the novel of the same name written by Michael Crichton has a long-lasting legacy. The franchise was so well-received that a book series was born that focuses on the different kinds of animals that can be found at Jurassic Park. There are three books that discuss flyers, prey and survivors that definitely make the story come to life.
Photo:Random House Books for Young Readers
Originating from a toy franchise made by Hasbro and Takara Tomy, Transformers have made a name for themselves. The Autobots have been a apart of almost every type of media publication and continue to draw in a huge fanbase. After the popular Transformers movie starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, a book series was created to match the sci-fi adventure. The books focus on Megatron and Cybertron and how they came to be.
Photo:Del Rey Books
The life of 007 is hard to follow. He's constantly changing his look and trying to stay hidden as he completes dangerous tasks. Although the movies were originally based off of books written by Ian Fleming, there have been multiple spin-offs and novelizations written since its inception.
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
The hilarious fantasy film starring Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman was such a huge hit that it received a novelization within the same year of the movie's release. The novel covers the entire movie, but gives the readers more insight to what actually happens inside the Emporium and creates a stronger ending.
Photo: Scholastic Inc.
Alien Vs. Predator
This sci-fi horror series is based on the movies of the same name that came to life after the original comic books. There are three spooky books in that follow the crossover between the popular Predator and Alien franchises. The books give an extended view into the movies and will set up the third movie that is rumored to be in the works.
Photo: Bantam Books
Set after the events that happened during Terminator 2:Judgment Day, the T2 novel continues the franchise. The series is trilogy that follows the life of Sarah Conner and her 16-year-old son. The latest Terminator movie picks up where the story leaves off, making it the perfect in-betweener.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Most known for its popular television series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, it actually originated from a movie that released in 1992. Since its release, there have been multiple novelizations and spin-offs, all taking place in Buffyverse. The books either give insight about Buffy's life in between the movie and tv series or explain what is happening as the seasons happen.
Dead Poet's Society
The critically-acclaimed drama starring the late Robin Williams was so popular that N. H. Kleinbaum released a novel of the same name a year later. The book is based off the movie but isn't an exact novelization as it explores the lives of different students and how the teachings of John Keating affected them.
Known as being one of the best sport's film of all time, Rocky went from the big screen. The screenwriter and lead actor Sylvester Stallone turned his life-changing story into a book and explored the life of his beloved character.
Photo: Mary Glasgow Magazines
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Millions fell in love with E.T. when his story first hit theaters in 1982, and his story was continued by books. Author William Kotzwinkle teamed up with the movie's director, Steven Spielberg to make a book about E.T.'s adventures on Earth. The book expands upon the story we saw on-screen and shows more about his relationships with Elliott.
Photo: Berkley Books