Thora Birch won't return as Dani in Hocus Pocus 2
Thora Birch was asked to reprise her role as Dani Dennison in Disney+'s upcoming Hocus Pocus sequel, but a source close to the actress tells EW she had to decline due to scheduling conflicts.
The source says that Disney asked Birch to play a "good supporting role" as an adult version of Dani, who appeared in the original Hocus Pocus back in 1993, but her obligations to Netflix's Addams Family-inspired series Wednesday prevented her from joining the production schedule. Birch reportedly exited that series in December.
They added that, if the plan had worked out, Birch would've played Dani as she worked to help three modern-day teens (played by Gossip Girl's Whitney Peak, Dirt's Lilia Buckingham, and American Horror Stories' Belissa Escobedo) with their attempts to halt the Sanderson Sisters' (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) plot for revenge following their resurrection from the dead to terrorize Salem 29 years after the events of the first film.
Disney had no comment on Birch's potential involvement.
Everett Collection Thora Birch in 'Hocus Pocus'
Dani first evaded the Sanderson Sisters' wrath with the help of her older brother, Max (Omri Katz), and his new girlfriend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw), after the former lit the infamous Black Flame Candle and brought the witches back to Earth for one Halloween night in Kenny Ortega's 1993 classic.
Earlier Monday, EW also confirmed through another source close to production that RuPaul's Drag Race alum Ginger Minj will appear in Hocus Pocus 2 as a drag version of Midler's Winifred Sanderson at a drag show attended by the trio of Sanderson Sisters.
In addition to Midler, Parker, and Najimy, original Hocus Pocus actor Doug Jones will return for the sequel in the role of Billy Butcherson, alongside series newcomers Ted Lasso Emmy winner Hannah Waddingham and Veep alums Tony Hale and Sam Richardson, who joined the cast in undisclosed roles.
"I am beyond thrilled to be involved in the sequel to a film that is as beloved as Hocus Pocus," director Anne Fletcher said last year in a statement about the upcoming film. "Fans around the world have embraced these characters and have made this film a Halloween tradition whose popularity continues to grow, and how lucky am I to be back at Disney with these three extraordinarily talented ladies in the iconic roles they created, as well as our fabulous new additions to the cast?"
Hocus Pocus 2 is set for release on Disney+ this fall.
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