‘Hocus Pocus’ is going to cast a spell on us once again with ‘Hocus Pocus 2.’ The highly-anticipated sequel is in the works with the original cast expected to return. Here’s what we know so far.
The Sanderson sisters will live to witch another day. Hocus Pocus 2 is officially happening, nearly 30 years after the original movie was released. Every year, fans gather round to watch the spooky film starring Bette Midler, 75, Sarah Jessica Parker, 55, and Kathy Najimy, 63.
However, Hocus Pocus wasn’t a box office sensation when it was released on July 16, 1993. It only made $38 million off of a $28 million budget. In the 28 years since Hocus Pocus came out, the film has become a Halloween sensation. The movie is more popular than ever, and now there will be another Hocus Pocus movie to love. HollywoodLife has all the latest updates on the upcoming sequel.
How To Watch ‘Hocus Pocus 2’
The original movie was released in theaters, but Hocus Pocus 2 will be released on Disney+. The announcement was made in Dec. 2020 during Disney Investor Day. Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, told viewers: “Of course, one of the most popular holidays is Halloween, and one of the most popular Halloween movies is the cult classic Hocus Pocus. I am happy to confirm we are working on a treat for Disney+ audiences with a spooky sequel.” A release date has yet to be announced. Fans can watch Hocus Pocus all year round on Disney+ now.
Production hasn’t started for the second movie, and a tentative start date has not been revealed. Hocus Pocus 2 will be directed by Adam Shankman, Variety first reported. He’s directed movies like A Walk to Remember, The Pacifier, and the 2007 Hairspray remake. “Thanks with all of my heart dear @disney,” Adam wrote on Instagram when the news was announced. “Looks like Il be working on a looooooottttt of magic for awhile… I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be guiding forward these two Disney crown jewel legacies. My only hope is to honor those who came before me and build something new and exciting, as I desperately try to not let down the fans and enchant the new initiates.” He’s currently working on the Enchanted sequel as well.
Kathy recently revealed that she has spoken with Bette and Sarah about the sequel and gave an update about what’s going on with filming. “Sarah [Jessica Parker] and Bette [Midler] and I had like a couple of weeks on the phone talking about the script, and that was really fun, obviously,” Kathy said on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show in Jan. 2021. “Bette Midler, as Jess knows, was a huge, huge inspiration for my whole entire life. Like half of me is me because of Bette Midler, half of me is me because my mom, Gloria Steinem, and Bette Midler. So we talked a lot about notes and if we did now, it’s just, and we all have said in a perfect world, yes. Now it’s just location, times and dates and how long and all that. So it’s just, it’s those things. So, you know, I can’t really give a yay or nay either way.”
‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Cast
Bette, Sarah, and Kathy are expected to reprise their roles as Sanderson sisters Winifred, Sarah, and Mary. All 3 of them have expressed interest in returning. The original cast also featured Omri Katz, 44, as Max Dennison, Thora Birch, 38, as Max’s sister Dani, and Vinessa Shaw, 44, as Allison. Disney has not officially announced who from the original cast will be returning.
“They want to make a movie, they’ve asked us if we were interested and of course all of us said yes,” Bette told Fox 5 New York in Oct. 2020. “I’m game, I’m totally game.” The Sanderson trio recently reunited in Oct. 2020 to raise money for Bette Midler’s charity, New York Restoration Project, getting fans even more excited about the sequel.
Back in May 2020, Sarah revealed to radio host Bruce Bozzi that she had “agreed publicly” about returning. “I think that it is something Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and I are all very hospitable to the idea,” she said. “I think for a long time, people were talking about it as if people were moving forward with it in a real way but we were unaware of it. We’ve agreed publicly to the right people, yes, that would be a very, very fun idea, so we’ll see what the future holds.”
Thora told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in Jan. 2020 that she would be down to return as Dani “if they would have me.” She also said, “They’ve been talking about this reboot for five years. I’m excited to see what it all looks like.”
As for new cast members, Disney hasn’t made any announcements. Back in 2017, Deadline reported that Disney Channel was working on a Hocus Pocus TV movie with a “new cast.” The TV movie never came to fruition.
What Will ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Be About?
The plot for Hocus Pocus 2 is being kept very under wraps. There’s no official word whether this will be a direct continuation of the first film or a totally new story featuring the Sanderson sisters.
The original movie started in 1693 as the Sanderson sisters were being sentenced to death for practicing witchcraft. They were hanged, but not before Winifred vowed to return to Salem to get her revenge. She cast a spell that would bring the sisters back during a full moon on Halloween if a virgin lit the Black Flame Candle. The trio was resurrected 300 years later when Max lit that infamous candle.
The writers of the first movie left the original film open-ended for a sequel. The Sanderson sisters did disintegrate into magical dust when the sun rose above the horizon, but Winifred’s spellbook teased their possible return. The movie ended with the spellbook opening its eye, meaning that it was still alive and the witches may not be gone for good.
A.W. Jantha published Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel in 2018. The YA book followed Max and Allison’s daughter, Poppy, 25 years after the events of the film as she faced off against the Sanderson sisters. The sequel could be based on this book or it could focus on a new story entirely.