It’s not so easy to get rid of witches. Though “Hocus Pocus” may not have been a commercial hit, Disney’s family-friendly witch film starring Mette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy went on to become a cult classic. Since then fans have been clamoring for the studio to release a sequel. And after nearly three decades, Disney is conjuring one up as they reunite the three for the sequel, which starts production today.
“I am beyond thrilled to be involved in the sequel to a film that is as beloved as ‘Hocus Pocus,’” says director Anne Fletcher. “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?”
Here’s the official plot synopsis for “Hocus Pocus 2:”
It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters who were executed for practicing witchcraft, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to figure out how to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before midnight on All Hallow’s Eve.
Bette Midler (“The First Wives Club,” “Beaches”), Sarah Jessica Parker (“Sex and the City,” “Divorce”), and Kathy Najimy (“Sister Act,” “Younger”) star as Winifred, Sarah, and Mary, the delightfully wicked Sanderson sisters who bewitched audiences in the 1993 film “Hocus Pocus.” Doug Jones (“The Shape of Water,” “What We Do in the Shadows”) also returns as Billy Butcherson. Joining them are Whitney Peak (“Gossip Girl,” “Molly’s Game”) as Becca, Lilia Buckingham (“Dirt,” “Crown Lake”) as Cassie, and Belissa Escobedo (“American Horror Stories,” “The Baker and the Beauty”) as Izzy, three young women in present-day Salem who incite the wrath of the three witches.
Sure, the sequel could not happen without the involvement of Midler, Parker, and Najimy, and Jones returning to reprise his role. And if even you weren’t a fan of the original, there is a certain level of intrigue with the actors playing new characters. In addition to the aforementioned three, there’s “Veep” star Tony Hale, and “Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham.
“Hocus Pocus 2” is written by Jen D’Angelo (“Happy Together,” “Workaholics”) and produced by Lynn Harris (“King Richard,” “The Shallows”), with Adam Shankman (“Disenchanted,” “Hairspray”), Ralph Winter (“Hocus Pocus,” “X-Men” franchise) and David Kirschner (“Hocus Pocus,” “Chucky”) serving as executive producers.
“Hocus Pocus 2” launches exclusively on Disney+ in the Fall 2022.