The Sanderson sisters are back to their witchy ways with Hocus Pocus 2, premiering on September 30, 2022!
On Monday November 1st, Disney revealed production for Hocus Pocus 2 began in Rhode Island with stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reuniting for the film.
Along with the announcement, Disney also revealed plot details for the highly-anticipated sequel.
The 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.
In the sequel, Winifred, Sarah and Mary now seek revenge as they awaken in present-day Salem, according to Entertainment Weekly. Three teenagers — Becca, Cassie and Izzy — must find a way to stop the witches from gaining retribution.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Kathy Najimy shall soon return
A first official promotional photo was released by the streaming platform Disney+. In the photo, that you can see below, the three actresses are dressed in character and it’s giving us all the feels!
The actresses will be joined by new faces which you soon will learn. Among them are Gossip Girl’s Whitney Peak, Dirt’s Lilia Buckingham and American Horror Stories’ Belissa Escobedo will play the three teens.
On Sunday, Parker shared a photo of a stack of books she said were accompanying her to the Hocus Pocus 2 set.https://www.instagram.com/p/CVtssNBtYrj/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
“Packing for my next onset experience. Books are the best companions when waiting to fly. I know from experience,” she wrote in the caption. “One old. Working. One new. Afterparties. One arriving soon. Very Cold People.”
Also joining the cast are Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, Hannah Waddingham, Doug Jones, Juju Brener, Froy Gutierrez, Taylor Henderson and Nina Kitchen.
Disney+ confirmed that Hocus Pocus 2 will premiere in fall 2022
Filming wrapped in January 2022: Midler announced it on Twitter writing “THAT’S A WRAP!!!!” alongside a pin of the iconic witches looking at a spell book.
Disney+ announced on Halloween that Hocus Pocus 2 will premiere on the streaming service in Fall 2022, but after filming wrapped, Shankman teased the release date for the Disney+ sequel film, writing “Coming to you #halloween #2022 on @disneyplus.”
Hocus Pocus 2 executive producer Adam Shankman revealed that the three stars of the 1993 original “just fell right in” with each other
“[It was] like a snap back in time, as if time had not [passed],” says Shankman. “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?’ “
How Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s Kids Really Feel About Hocus Pocus
“My daughters love it,” the Sex and the City alum said, before recalling how she found out about her kids’ love of the cult classic. “I came across, honestly, a DVD of it that probably Disney sent me when it came out, so it was pretty weathered.”
Sarah remembered telling her daughters that “this might be a movie that you might like,” to which they replied, “Oh yeah, mama, we’ve seen it. We love that movie.”
“I don’t know where they saw it for the first time and they didn’t come home and tell me about it,” Sarah admitted. “I think they were at a certain point in their life also where I was an actor and Matthew and I don’t talk about that a lot at home. They consumed it, absorbed it, and loved it and didn’t need to say more than that.”
It was Bette Midler who initiated the conversation for a sequel
Even when it became a phenomenon, [a sequel] wasn’t considered. Ten years on, when I started seeing the returns, I was surprised, and I started making calls. We got no interest at all, and a few years after that, I remember I needed the costume, and I asked the studio to loan it to me, but they couldn’t. My friend suggested that I go online, so I looked, and I was shocked because I’d never seen so much Hocus Pocus merch.
I bought the costume, and I came as Winnie here and there, for this benefit or that benefit, and I realized there was something going on. As I watched it progress, I’d call the studio once a year to ask, “How about it?” It wasn’t until about three years ago that they advocated for it, and movement started. It picked up when they decided that they wanted it to be on a streamer. They never looked back until they got their movie.
Hannah Waddingham talked about walking on set of Hocus Pocus 2
“Oh, my lord! I turned up for my fitting in Rhode Island and the second assistant director said, “All the ladies would like to meet you.” Honestly, my jaw dropped off. I went and sat with them in their costumes. Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and the mighty SJP. And I sat there while they were having their lunch break with them in their full garb. It felt like a competition where I felt like I was going to have to leave the room and then pay somebody 1,000 pounds or something. I was literally like, “What is going on?” It was the most joyous “pinch me” moment. It really was.“
Sarah Jessica Parker teases ‘a new musical number or two’
“Yes, there will be a number! Of course there will be a number — a number or two.”
MIDLER: We suggested that there be songs. That was our big contribution. We said, “They have to sing.” We made suggestions as far as songs were concerned, and we went to the barricades on that. It was a collaborative effort where we were happy to defend our choices and also compromise.
PARKER: There are two covers, we have two numbers. Two big musical numbers. We would’ve done three if they’d let us. They’re songs that are familiar to a variety of age groups…. It was a big conversation, whether we were going to use new material or redo a song, and the movie went through various iterations. Anne had thoughts and feelings about the songs, then they became hers because she’s the director. I couldn’t rehearse the dance numbers, so I was sent a video and tried to learn it without anybody in the studio.
We knew we wanted to do songs, but we didn’t know what, and I didn’t have strong feelings because we were in such good hands, between Anne, the musical team at Disney, and Marc Shaiman. I went to Marc’s studio after work and recorded of my stuff, and that was great. He makes you feel super comfortable, he’s much more interested in you acting something than singing it perfectly. Character is everything to him.
Hocus Pocus Fans ‘Will Not Be Disappointed’ by Sequel, Says Source
“Bette’s energy is the same as when she starred in the original. If anything, she raises the stakes, the source tells PEOPLE.
The source tells PEOPLE the three stars “all feel like it’s about time [the sequel] happens and they wish they had done it sooner. The chemistry between the cast was still there.”
“Hocus Pocus fans will not be disappointed,” adds the source. “All of their favorite characters from the first movie return and then some.”
Sequel director Anna Fletcher on being involved in the movie
“I am beyond thrilled to be involved in the sequel to a film that is as beloved as Hocus Pocus,” sequel 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 will explain the Sanderson Sisters’ origins as children in the 1600s
Director Anne Fletcher exclusively tells EW that the film begins with a flashback to 1600s New England, where child actors Taylor Henderson, Juju Journey Brener, and Nina Kitchen will portray younger versions of Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) — with a young Billy Butcherson (Doug Jones) also making an appearance years before becoming adult Winifred’s lover.
“The opening sequence of the movie, we get some history of our witches and Billy. We get a little kiss — pardon the pun — of the Billy aspect of it and the world that they lived in and what happened to the witches. I always missed that in the first one. Like, what are the witches the way they are?” Fletcher says. “I did have that question, and the script came, and I loved the opening 1600s. I pushed that a little bit more, because I really wanted to point at, ever so slightly…. the idea that the 1600s and the now are the same. There’s no difference. I just want to poke at the irony of it. But, in the joy of the film you get to see the young version of them and have a great time and understand the what and why of what happened to them.”
She promises “some wonderful surprises in the mythology” of the trio, confirming that “they’re not witches in the beginning”.
But that their origin story intertwines with that of the new threesome of modern-day teens (Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, and Lilia Buckingham) who resurrect the Sanderson Sisters in contemporary Salem.
“[We] give each girl not only the same color in the vein of our witches — Becca [Peak] being Winnie, Izzy [Escobedo] being Mary, and Cassie [Buckinham] being Sarah — but their hairstyles in a way are similar. It’s a modern-day twist on it,” Fletcher finishes. “It’s the intention of playing into that. At the end of the day, the movie is about sisterhood, it’s about sticking together through thick and thin, and being there for one another.”
Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw not returning for Hocus Pocus 2
Actors who won’t be there — at least physically — for the Hocus Pocus sequel are OG actors Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw, Thora Birch, Larry Bagby, Tobias Jelinek, and Jason Marsden, as EW previously confirmed that nearly all of the youngsters who appeared in the first film won’t reprise their roles in Hocus Pocus 2. Other newcomers to the series this time around include Sam Richardson, Tony Hale, Hannah Waddingham, and RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Kahmora Hall, Ginger Minj, and Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté.
Sequel director Anne Fletcher tells EW that they tried to weave the teens back into the story, but that “it was difficult” — even in a cameo capacity, which she feels might’ve been a distraction from the new movie’s plot.
“We wanted to weave in all of the people that the fans loved, and when you sat back with all the ingredients and story, you’re like, how do we make this work?” Fletcher explains. “It was very difficult to try to have them be a part of it, because we did talk about it — painstakingly. You’re trying to stay on track with story, even if they came in as a cameo. People would say, ‘They could be in the background!’ and I’m like, really? You’re going to put the leads of the first movie in the background and be satisfied? You’re not going to be satisfied, you’re going to be angry.”
Meet Cobweb, the Hocus Pocus 2 cat who’s definitely not Thackery Binx
If, like Emily’s ghost wandering a Salem cemetery, you’ve spent approximately 300 years searching for Thackery Binx, keep looking. In his place, however, is another adorable black cat that EW can reveal exclusive details about.
“That’s Cobweb!” director Anne Fletcher tells EW of the cat who briefly appears in the teaser for the upcoming film. That’s right: Disney’s long-awaited sequel is set to continue the saga of the witchy Sanderson Sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) with a new feline accomplice, who belongs to a new series character, Gilbert, played by Sam Richardson.
Though she sports a similar black coat, Cobweb won’t be endowed with Binx’s curse: There are “no talking cats” in Hocus Pocus 2, Fletcher confirms.
Instead, Cobweb takes up residence in Gilbert’s occult attraction, the Salem Magic Shoppe, a converted store that occupies the same building the Sanderson Sisters used to call home.
Still, Fletcher explains, Binkx might be back in more creative ways, though not in cat form, as EW previously confirmed that original voice actor Jason Marsden would not reprise his role in the movie.
Fletcher calls Binx “the heart, for sure” of the first film, which was why the sequel pays homage to his legacy via Cobweb, but also nods to his actual existence in an opening sequence set in the 1600s.
“Billy and Binx, I wanted back,” she explains of Winifred’s zombified ex-lover, portrayed by veteran actor Doug Jones, though she’s hesitant to reveal just how Binx will re-emerge in the film. “We’re having some fun with him, so, we’ll see.”
Director Anne Fletcher Teases ‘Surreal’ Return & New Musical Moment
“It was surrea. You were thrown back 29 years and you’re like, how is it possible they look the same?” … “You can’t compete with [first film showstopper] ‘I Put a Spell on You.’”… “The most important things for me were bringing back a black cat and Billy,” aka everybody’s favorite zombie (reprised by Doug Jones.) “Billy had to be in the movie.” That’s a resurrection to look forward to!
‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Exec Producer Teases Possible Broadway Musical Adaptation
Hocus Pocus casting its spell on Broadway? The Sanderson Sisters might be flying their brooms a bit closer to the stage after all.
A long-rumored stage adaptation of the popular 1993 film starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker just got another vote of confidence. A day before Disney+ unveils the Hocus Pocus 2 sequel with the original cast reunited, executive producer David Kirschner says a musical version is once again in the works.
“This started before Covid, but now it seems to be back on,” Kirschner says in an interview on today’s episode of the Broadway Podcast Network’s The Art of Kindness podcast, “and that is that they are building a Broadway version of Hocus Pocus.” Kirschner created and produced the 1993 original and exec produces the sequel.
Kirschner did not disclose details about the project’s creative team or a production timeline, but told podcast host Robert Peterpaul, “I think you’re going to be very pleased.”
Talk of a possible stage adaptation has been circulating for at least a couple years. In 2020, prior to the Covid pandemic, the original film’s director Kenny Ortega told Forbes magazine, “I’d love to do Hocus Pocus on Broadway. Perhaps Thomas Schumacher, the president of Disney Theatrical Group, would give me a call, and we could talk about it…I think a Hocus Pocus musical would be great fun, really great fun.”