Better Nate Than Ever Trailer: Disney+ Musical Comedy Wants You To Dream Big

How about starting the week with a little music? Disney+ has released an official trailer for "Better Nate Than Ever," a family musical comedy based on the 2013 novel of the same name by "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" creator Tim Federle.

Rueby Wood, who played Charlie Bucket in the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" stage musical's first tour on Broadway, stars as Nate Foster, a 13-year-old who dreams of making it big on Broadway but can't even land a role in his school's play. Aria Brooks ("All That") costars as Nate's best friend Libby, who joins him on a secret trip to the Big Apple to prove he's got what it takes to become a Broadway legend. Along the way, the pair cross paths with Nate's long-lost Aunt Heidi (Lisa Kudrow, most recently seen in "Space Force" season 2), as, per the film's synopsis, "together they must learn that life's greatest adventures are only as big as your dreams."

Better Nate Than Ever trailer

"Better Nate Than Ever" reunites Federle (who also wrote and directed the movie) with "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" lead Joshua Bassett, who co-stars as Nate's older brother Anthony. "Joshua Bassett has been this good luck charm for me since he was cast as the very first series regular in 'HSMTMTS,' and it was a joy when he signed on to this very different role of Nate's jock older brother," Federle told Entertainment Weekly.

Federle went on to explain how "Better Nate Than Ever" was inspired by his own background as a theater kid who dreamed of making it big in showbiz:

"It sort of came from my backyard, literally and proverbially, because at the time I was dancing on Broadway and I was working on 'Billy Elliot' and it felt like a really far leap from my days as this Pittsburgh theater kid who dreamed of coming to New York. I first came to New York when I was 14 with my mom on this trip to see Broadway shows, and I got this idea because I felt like dancers can't dance forever. I was like, what am I going to do if I don't keep dancing? I decided to quietly write this pretty autobiographical novel without knowing what I was doing, and I just wrote from the heart."

While he described the film as being faithful to the spirit of his original book, Federle noted that he expanded the roles for Libby and Anthony for the movie, fleshing them out into co-leads. The other big difference between the two is the fictional stage musical at the heart of the story, which was "E.T.: The Broadway Musical" in the novel, but has been changed to a Broadway musical adaptation of Disney's 2002 animated feature "Lilo & Stitch" for the film. 

Federle admitted that production designer Jane Musky's decorations for the movie's fake stage show were almost too convincing and gave rise to rumors that "Lilo & Stitch" is coming to Broadway for real. "I'm sorry to disappoint Broadway viewers that it's not yet a reality. But if you see the movie, you'll at least see a version of it come to life," he added.

"Better Nate Than Ever" debuts April 1, 2022, on Disney+.