11:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Disney Channel Sets Cheerleader-Zombie Love Story as Next Musical Movie
Disney Channel has started production on Zombies, an original movie filled with song and dance numbers that will debut in 2018.
Meg Donnelly (American Housewife) and Milo Manheim (Ghost Whisperer) will star in the movie, which centers on a groundbreaking semester at Seabrook High School, described as the pride and joy of a suburban town preoccupied with uniformity, traditions and pep rallies. But chaos and confusion sets in when transfer students from Zombietown integrate into the school and a cheerleader and zombie football star, Addison (Donnelly) and Zed (Manheim), fall in love. Now it's up to them to lead their community to coexistence.
The movie is being directed by Jeffrey Hornaday, choreographed by Christopher Scott and Hornaday (both of Teen Beach Movie) and executive produced by Project Greenlight breakout Effie Brown (Star, Dear White People) and Hornaday.
Also starring are Trevor Tordjman (The Next Step) as Addison's cousin and head cheerleader, Bucky; Kylee Russell (Jump In) as Zed's zombie best friend, Eliza; and Carla Jeffery (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Addison's friend Bree.
"We're thrilled to be working with Jeffrey Hornaday again to bring this new world of zombies and cheerleading to life," said Adam Bonnett, executive vp original programming at Disney Channels Worldwide. "Jeffrey and Chris Scott have delivered some of our most memorable musical sequences on Disney Channel, and now with Effie Brown on board as an executive producer, we are excited to deliver this inspirational story about tolerance, inclusion, individuality and conviction — each relatable themes for our viewers."
The story is by David Light and Joseph Raso, who both wrote the script with Josh Cagan (The Duff). Light and Raso also serve as co-producers.
Disney has had success with its musical movies, from the High School Musical and Teen Beach Movie franchises to Descendants and its upcoming sequel, airing July 21.
In the U.S., Disney Channel has six of the seven most-watched original cable movies ever, including High School Musical 2 and Teen Beach Movie.