Disney re-making 'High School Musical' in Chinese

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 26 2009 06:58 AM | Updated as of Nov 26 2009 02:58 PM

SHANGHAI – Disney is re-making its international smash hit "High School Musical" in Chinese with a film set to be released here next summer, a Disney spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The film marks the third time the hit US movie has been remade for a local market and is a co-production with the state-owned Shanghai Media Group and Beijing-based Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, the spokeswoman told AFP.

However, the original story will be adapted for China so that the students who overcome the odds to win a singing competition are attending university instead of high school, a Disney executive was quoted as saying by state media.

"In China, students in high school are so focused on academics that it wasn't realistic to portray them singing and dancing in the way that American high school students have time for," Jason Reed, general manager of Walt Disney Studios International Production told the China Daily.

"Disney High School Musical: China" has started filming in Shanghai and will star six new young actors drawn from across China, a Disney statement said.

Since airing on the Disney Channel in 2006, the film has been translated into more than 30 languages.

In addition to a best-selling DVD and soundtrack album, it has also spawned two sequels, touring stage productions, a themed show at Disneyland parks and a sold-out arena concert tour.