High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is bringing Lucas Grabeel’s Ryan back while addressing one of the most commented upon aspects of the character. The popular Disney+ show is coming to an end with its next and fourth season, and will not only answer many questions from its own plot, it will also tackle an issue that’s been on fans’ minds since the very first movie.
High School Musical debuted its first film back in 2006 on the Disney Channel, and it turned out to be an unexpected and impressive success. Along with shows like Hannah Montana or Wizards of Waverly Place, the movie was part of a golden era for the House of Mouse on the small screen. In 2007, the second film arrived, and it was equally well received, and in 2008 the trilogy wrapped up with a third movie released on theaters.
The story followed Zac Efron’s Troy and Vanessa Hudgens’ Gabriella, who met at a New Year’s Eve party while spending the holidays with their families at a resort. Weeks later, when they get back to school, they are unexpectedly reunited when Gabriella moves to Albuquerque with her mother. That’s when their love story begins, and not only between each other, but with musical theater too. Troy and Gabriella find on stage a place where they can be whoever they want to be, and staying truth to who you are no matter what other people say is the big message behind the movies.
But Troy and Gabriella are only two of the many legendary characters that High School Musical introduced to the world. Many fans consider Ashley Tisdale’s Sharpay Evans to be one of the most iconic characters from the film, who was always trying to be the main star of the show along with her brother Ryan, played by Lucas Grabeel. The latter has always been at the center of the storm, especially on social media, since many fans believe that Ryan was gay in the movies, but it was never pointed out within the plot. But this is about to change.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Gives Ryan a Love Story
Released in 2019, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series brought the franchise back to life presenting a show set in the halls of East High School, where the movies took place. The series follows a diverse group of students dealing with love, friendship, and all kind of teen conflicts while participating in several school plays, many times honoring the original movies or other Disney classics.
The series tried to expand the concepts of acceptance and tolerance that were such a big part of the film trilogy, but now is taking things even further by bringing Ryan back and addressing his sexuality. In a recent sneak peek released by Disney+, Lucas Grabeel reprises his role in a surprising scene:
Back in 2020, in an interview with Variety, director Kenny Ortega broke the silence on this matter, explaining why he decided not to tackle Ryan’s sexuality in the films:
“I was concerned because it was family and kids, that Disney might not be ready to cross that line and move into that territory yet. So, I just took it upon myself to make choices that I felt that those who were watching would grab. They would see it, they would feel it, they would know it and they would identify with it. And that is what happened.”
The video also shows the returns of Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman and Kacey Stroth, who will be part of a High School Musical reunion that’s being held at the school where the series takes place. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series returns to Disney+ on August 9.