Another witching hour is upon us. Months after sources told Variety that a follow-up to 1993's Hocus Pocus was officially brewing at Disney+, the movie is officially confirmed. Disney announced on Thursday, December 10 that Hocus Pocus 2, a "spooky sequel" to the original film, would be flying to Disney+ with Adam Shankman directing.
— Disney (@Disney) December 10, 2020
Below, everything we know about the spellbinding news, including which Sanderson sisters are set to return.
The sequel has a director.
Shankman, the director behind films including Hairspray and A Walk to Remember, will helm the movie with a script from Workaholics writer and co-producer Jen D’Angelo. Shankman takes over for the original movie's director, Kenny Ortega, who went on to lead the High School Musical and Descendants trilogies.
The film will premiere on Disney+.
The original cast is very interested in being involved.
In a May 2020 interview on SiriusXM's Radio Andy, Parker gave an update on the sequel—and her co-stars' involvement in it. "Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and I are all very hospitable to the idea," she responded. "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." She added, "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."
This isn't the first time SJP has teased her role in the sequel. In October 2019, The New York Times reported that a sequel was in the works with Disney+. Around the same time, Parker shared a throwback photo of her cast members during the original film. In the comments section she was asked,"any chance of a sequel?" to which she responded, "We have all said yes. Now we wait."
As for Midler, she also appears to be on board. In October 2020, she told FOX 5 that all three witches were open to returning. "They want to make a movie, they’ve asked us if we were interested and of course all of us said yes," she revealed, adding, "I’m game, I’m totally game." That same month, Midler offered more insight regarding the project to People. "They presented us with an outline, and after we picked ourselves up off the floor, because it's been 27 years, we looked at it and I think all of us agreed that it was pretty great," she said.
The cast gave a glimpse of what's in store for a sequel when they reunited around Halloween for Midler's Hulaween fundraising event, which benefits the New York Restoration Project.
Wasn't there a reboot in the works?
Fans may remember that a TV movie remake of the beloved film was in development in 2017, with Scarlett Lacey (The Royals) writing the script.
However, that project never materialized following comments Midler made to People about the movie being "cheap" and Ortega's insistence that the original trio should return instead. “I think it would be much more fun to bring the ladies back,” the director told Entertainment Tonight. “They’re all still vital and in their prime and capable of doing so much that it would be great to see Bette and Kathy and Sarah come back together to do another movie and I think they would like to.”
There's no official release date for the movie.
Hocus Pocus loyalists may have to endure a few Halloweens without the new movie. No release date has been announced for the project, nor whether it will take precedence over Shankman's other big screen commitment; Variety notes the director is in pre-production on the Enchanted sequel Disenchanted for Disney.
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