updated 11/19/2007 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 11/19/2007 AT 11:55 AM ET
The prospect of a High School Musical 3 appears to be getting closer and closer to reality.
“I am so very excited,” Vanessa Hudgens told PEOPLE backstage at Sunday’s American Music Awards in L.A., when asked about returning for the threequel. “To do a third one for the big screen, I can’t begin to think how much fun we’ll have.”
Hudgens, 18, said that although “only a few people have actually signed the contracts … We’re all definitely on board.”
Contracts for the film’s young stars are still being negotiated, a key being Hudgens’s boyfriend Zac Efron, 20. After a success with the film Hairspray, Efron saw his value skyrocket in 2007. He told PEOPLE in September that he’d return “if the script is good,” and was photographed recently with a script-toting director.
Hudgens has reportedly signed on for part three, but neither her rep nor Disney has confirmed. “We always have so much fun,” she said of the inevitable reunion.
HSM director Kenny Ortega – who, in October, told PEOPLE work was under way on a first-draft script for the sequel – admitted Sunday how hopeful the cast and crew is.
“We’re all verbally committed, and we’re all very hopeful of doing this,” Ortega said to PEOPLE at the 15th Annual Diversity Awards in L.A. “We want to do this, and we’re going to have some new characters arriving at East High. That’ll be fun, mix it up a little bit.”
Asked in the American Music Awards pressroom about how much she ll be making for the sequel, costar (and Hudgens’s friend) Ashley Tisdale said, “We don’t talk about our income, but Disney is great!”
Reporting by REAGAN ALEXANDER