Get ready for more Hocus Pocus! The 1993 classic stars Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah), Bette Midler (Winifred), and Kathy Najimy (Mary) as the Sanderson sisters, whom a group of kids accidentally resurrect on Halloween and then must stop from becoming immortal. The film was actually a bit of a flop at the box office when it was first released, but has reached cult status in the passing years, in no small part because it reruns constantly on various basic cable networks.
Now a sequel is in the works. The movie is in development for Disney+. Here's everything we know!
The film was confirmed during Disney Investor Day, on December 10, 2020. “Coming exclusively to @DisneyPlus is Hocus Pocus 2, the spooky sequel to the 1993 Halloween classic! @AdamMShankman is set to direct,” it tweeted.
People online had mixed opinions—some were excited, but others were afraid a new movie could never live up to the original. Mostly, people wanted confirmation their favorite witches were returning.
Don't worry, they are! When news first broke, Parker, Midler, and Najimy were not officially attached, but Entertainment Weekly reported that Disney hoped to get them involved. “I don’t think any of us who were making it at the time thought Hocus Pocus would have such a long life,” Parker told the magazine. “People tell me all the time they grew up watching it, and that they still watch it. I think it’s wonderful.”
She also posted a still from the movie on Halloween 2019, calling it “one for the books.”
At a Halloween event that year, Midler and Najimy both cited their excitement for the project. “Oh, I hope they get to me before I’m a corpse,” Midler told Entertainment Tonight. “We wanna fly again. I hope Disney Plus is a big success, and I hope we get to do it, because [Winifred] is of course one of my favorite characters…. We’re gonna see what happens.”
Added Najimy, “I heard about it online the same time as [everyone else]. But here’s the honest answer: Sarah and Bette and I all have a million projects and things that we’re into, so I don’t know if they’re gonna offer us [roles]. I don’t know if the worlds are going to collide so that we could all three do it at the same time. But I’m happy that it’s happening, because the fans are really rabid and they really want it. If we’re not all available to star in it, I think it would be so great to do a cameo. I think that’d be really fun.”
Thankfully, on May 20, 2021, Disney+ confirmed that the Sanderson sisters are officially on board! “Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy will reprise their roles as the delightfully wicked Sanderson Sisters in the live-action comedy Hocus Pocus 2,” it shared in a press release.
We even have plot details! “In Hocus Pocus 2, three young women accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to modern-day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.” Sounds a lot like the original Hocus Pocus, but we're here for it!
Production will begin in fall 2021. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the movie will be ready this Halloween.
However, Disney+ announced that Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, 27 Dresses) is now set to direct, while Adam Shankman will still serve as an executive producer.
“As heartbroken as I am that I won’t be able to direct my friends Bette, Sarah Jessica, and Kathy in what is sure to be nothing short of a major event for Disney+ due to scheduling conflicts, I couldn’t be more pleased to be handing over the reins to Anne, who has brought so much laughter and joy into people’s lives with her previous work,” Shankman said in a statement. “I am still grateful and proud to help shepherd this ingenious project as executive producer alongside producer Lynn Harris, whom I have loved and admired as a colleague and friend since she helped get me the job choreographing ‘Boogie Nights.’”
“Now more than ever, people need to laugh,” said director Anne Fletcher. “We should be laughing every day, and there is so much fun to be had with these three unbelievable women playing delicious characters from such a beloved film. I am so grateful to be able to play a part in bringing these witches back to life, and to be working with my friends at Disney again makes it all the more special. This is a movie for everyone, from the fans who grew up with the first film to the next generation of viewers, and I can’t wait to get started.”
This post will be updated as more details emerge.
Originally Appeared on Glamour