Hocus Pocus 2 Producer Says Original Trio's Dynamic Was Like a 'Snap Back in Time' on Set

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Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson in Disney's live-action HOCUS POCUS 2, exclusively on Disney+
Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson in Disney's live-action HOCUS POCUS 2, exclusively on Disney+

Matt Kennedy/Courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker in Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)

It's been almost 30 years since the release of Hocus Pocus, but for Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, some witches never change.

In a recent chat with PEOPLE, Hocus Pocus 2 executive producer Adam Shankman revealed that the three stars of the 1993 original "just fell right in" with each other on set of the highly anticipated sequel.

"[It was] like a snap back in time, as if time had not [passed]," says Shankman, 57. "They were just laughing, laughing, laughing. ... It was easy."

"Kathy, Sarah and Bette have known each other since they made the movie ... so [there] was nothing but giddiness," he continues, adding with a laugh, "I think there was a little bit of, like, 'Wow, are we really doing this again?' "

Shankman notes that the original Hocus Pocus "was not a hit when it came out," but eventually became "the juggernaut Halloween movie" due to it "endlessly run(ing) on cable" and streaming platforms.

Asked why he believes it took almost three decades to produce a sequel, Shankman says, "I don't think Disney was interested in any of the ideas that were brought forward to them until this one."

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RELATED: Everything to Know About Hocus Pocus 2

The new movie will pick up almost 30 years after Max (Omri Katz) lit the Black Flame Candle in the 1993 film version and accidentally resurrected three witches on the hunt to steal children. The original movie also starred Vinessa Shaw and Thora Birch.

"It's been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge," the film's official description reads. "Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow's Eve."

"Lock up your children," Midler's character Winifred shouts in the recently released teaser trailer, after the Black Flame Candle is once again lit, resurrecting her and her sisters. "Yes, Salem, we're back!"

The ladies later swing by what appears to be an outdoor Halloween carnival, where they're immediately recognized by one of the fair's staffers. "Hey, it's the Sanderson Sisters," he says. "I bet you're looking for the stage?"

"Always," says Winifred, implying that another musical performance — a la "I Put a Spell on You" from the original movie — will be on the way.

Shankman tells PEOPLE that "When the opportunity [to make the sequel] appeared in the form of Disney+, I think that the service just stepped forward and said, 'If you can make this happen, we want it and need it.' "

"I think it's because of my relationship with the three witches, which I have a real relationship with all three of [the actresses]," he adds. "We talked about it and I said, 'Sure.' "

Shankman explains that he was originally set to direct, but there were scheduling conflicts with Disenchanted — so he made the "Sophie's choice" to executive produce, and urged Disney to instead hire Anne Fletcher.

"The movie is completely [Anne's]," he says. "She did her thing and it's definitely all hers. But that was very hard when I stepped off it, because I had been talking with Sarah, Kathy and Bette so much. So it was hard."

Hocus Pocus 2 is streaming Sept. 30 on Disney+.