CATEGORIES Movies
With 'High School Musical' moving toward a fourth installment and 'Glee' one of the hottest shows on TV, the pre-college years are suddenly saturating the zeitgeist. No wonder Disney is aiming to celebrate another timeless rite of teenage passage.

Per Variety, 'Prom' concerns -- well, a high school prom and all the pre-dance prep work and angst-ridden drama that makes it a memorable event. Unlike 'HSM,' however, it won't be a musical pic but a comedy: the script is being inked by the teen-friendly Katie Wech ('Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience').

Joe Nussbaum
, helmer of several post-puberty pics (2004's 'Sleepover,' 2006's 'American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile' and 2007's 'Sydney White'), will direct. With 'High School Musical' moving toward a fourth installment and 'Glee' one of the hottest shows on TV, the pre-college years are suddenly saturating the cultural zeitgeist, so it's no wonder Disney is aiming to celebrate another timeless rite of teenage passage.

Per Variety, 'Prom' concerns, well, a high school prom and all angst-ridden drama that make it a memorable event. Unlike 'HSM,' however, it won't be a musical. Instead, 'Prom' will be a more-traditional teenage comedy with a script inked by Katie Wech ('Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience').

Joe Nussbaum
, director of several post-puberty pics (2004's 'Sleepover,' 2006's 'American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile' and 2007's 'Sydney White'), will direct.

Disney is hoping to strike gold twice by putting together an ensemble cast of talented newcomers -- nine in all, presumably in the mold of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu -- which could mean most of them won't remain unknown for very long.

To be sure, the stars-are-born formula wasn't created by Disney (the late John Hughes mastered it in the 1980s), but it seems to be serving the Mouse House pretty well.

As Variety also noted, the financial advantage of casting unknowns is it keeps down production expenses and talent salaries -- all the better to potentially launch a new, money-making franchise.