Rumor has it, Vanessa Hudgens will most definitely be returning to her starring role in the Disney musical series, High School Musical. Normally, this wouldn’t be big news considering the monstrous success of the first two High School Musical films, but after Hudgens’ nude-photo scandal in September, rumors started to circulate that one of the Cheetah Girls might be taking over her role as Gabriella.

Us Weekly reported that sources close to casting negotiations say Vanessa should be officially signed on for the third High School Musical movie, some time this week. While the Disney spokesperson as well as Hudgens’ publicist refused to confirm the rumor, Us Weekly’s source say it’s pretty much a done deal and that Hudgens will be receiving a sizable pay increase. The source also confirmed that Ashley Tisdale, who plays the snobby Sharpay, is also confirmed to return for the third movie and that Zac Efron is on board as well.

It seems like crazy scandals involving partying, sex and/or nudity are becoming almost a rite of passage for some young actors these days. Sure, the embarrassment of finding out that millions of people got to look at your goodies might not be so great but in Hudgens’ case, it doesn’t seem to be affecting her budding career. With the success of the first two movies, it seemed highly unlikely that Disney would want to recast the starring role and risk millions of tweens boycotting the final movie. So, HSM fanatics, rest assured that Gabriella and Troy will most likely be reunited on the small screen for the third movie.

Unlike the first two movies, which aired on the Disney Channel, the third movie will be released in theaters and should be premiering some time in 2008.

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