Hocus Pocus 2 premieres on September 30, but stars Midler, Parker and Najimy reveal if they’d do Hocus Pocus 3 after the new sequel!
In an exclusive interview with EW, the Sanderson Sisters trio — Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy — reveal their thoughts on potentially continuing the story.
Bette Midler always wanted a franchise
“I’m envious of other actors who have franchises, and I was hoping for a sequel to First Wives Club, but we never got that. After 30 years with no sequel to Hocus Pocus, I’ve always been envious of people who get to do their favorite character more than once. The fact that we got to do this finally, after 30 years of promoting the idea, I’m glad we got to do it. I’d love to have a franchise — especially a character I love playing,” Midler says. “If there was a third one, of course I’d sign on, but I don’t know how. I can’t imagine what the story would be, but I love Winifred, Sarah, Mary, and our relationship. It’s good for women. We stick together through hell and high water, but we do cause mayhem, and not many women cause that much mayhem!”
Najimy adds that she’s grateful for the opportunity to film a sequel 29 years after the first film debuted in theaters before becoming an annual Halloween classic, and she’ll “never say never” when it comes to doing more. However, she still thinks the way Fletcher’s film ends means they’ve “pulled every story you could pull out of this” series.
Parker says it would be interesting to have Hocus Pocus 3 in a different format
“Kathy had a good idea that the third one should be animated. That would be cool and a smart idea. It’s fun, funny, and could be interesting and innovative, like old-fashioned or new [animation],” she explains. “Of course I’d be happy to have a conversation [for a third film], it just depends on what Kathy and Bette want!”
The original stars of Hocus Pocus are happy to convey our most *cracks knuckles* forbidden desires — if said desires include a potential Hocus Pocus 3.
Vinessa Shaw, Omri Katz, and Jason Marsden — the former child actors who first fronted Disney’s 1993 classic — all exclusively tell EW that they’d sign on for a third Hocus Pocus movie if the studio wishes to bring the Sanderson Sisters back from the dead again.
“It’s such a fun story, and obviously having us reminisce about this makes it that much more fun and the fondness keeps growing,” Shaw, who starred as Allison, explains. Katz, who played Max, adds that he’d be “100 percent down to do it” if the opportunity arose, and Marsden, who voiced Binx the cat, would “absolutely” participate.
The actors confirm that no official talks have occurred and that they were not asked to appear in September’s Hocus Pocus 2. Still, the Anne Fletcher-directed film included a new scene that featured stand-ins for their characters in a flashback sequence.
The stars say they haven’t read Disney’s 2018 book Hocus Pocus & the All-New Sequel,im, which follows grown-up versions of Max and Allison as they help their teenage daughter fight the resurrected Sanderson Sisters, but Katz still sees a way forward related to the story outlined in the novel.
“Who’s to say there has to be continuity in terms of the story? You can create any story. If they were to take the book and turn it into a screenplay, it doesn’t have to be the witches coming back, they can just do whatever they want, and people will be stoked to see it regardless,” he says. “The witches are 30 years older, so we’ve got to get this done sooner than later. We can’t wait another 30 years. Sorry, it’s the truth! I’m sure Bette does not want to be doing this at age 98.”
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy all joined the series once again for Hocus Pocus 2, as did Doug Jones, who again co-starred as the zombified Billy Butcherson.
The sequel’s story revolved around a new group of teens (Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham) who battle the witches after they return from the grave in contemporary Salem. While the movie has a somewhat definitive ending, a post-credits sequence teases the existence of another Black Flame Candle that could signal a further revival.
I’m envious of other actors who have franchises, and I was hoping for a sequel to First Wives Club, but we never got that,” Midler previously told EW. “After 30 years with no sequel to Hocus Pocus, I’ve always been envious of people who get to do their favorite character more than once. The fact that we got to do this finally, after 30 years of promoting the idea, I’m glad we got to do it. I’d love to have a franchise — especially a character I love playing.”
She adds, “If there was a third one, of course, I’d sign on, but I don’t know how. I can’t imagine what the story would be, but I love Winifred, Sarah, Mary, and our relationship. It’s good for women. We stick together through hell and high water, but we do cause mayhem, and not many women cause that much mayhem!”
Hocus Pocus 2 cast explains Winnie’s shocking end scene, new coven’s future
So, what’s in store for the new, magically inclined threesome? EW exclusively caught up with the stars to tease future of the series.
How do you interpret the last scene, with the bird following you? What do you think happens next for Becca, Izzy, and Cassie?
PEAK: It’s an open-ended movie. So much could happen next. Both extremes, too. If there is a next movie, we could be our coven, much older, but the Sanderson Sisters could come back, and we’d have to kick their asses again.
ESCOBEDO: We did do that.
PEAK: That final scene where the sisters vanish, and Winnie’s processing a lot of things, there’s a callback to the beginning of the movie where the Witch, played by Hannah Waddingham, the [young Sanderson Sisters] ask her where her coven is, and she responds by saying that Salem isn’t the kindest to witches, she also says the book doesn’t like the power spell. So, maybe she did it and made the same mistake, and she’s warning the three of them.
BUCKINGHAM: If there’s a third, I want one of us to get corrupted by the power. I just know it would be Cassie.
ESCOBEDO: The three Sanderson Sisters never knew because they didn’t read the warning, but the three of us know, so we know what we’d be risking.
Do you think there’s potential in the world of this film for the witches to resurrect again, or do you think they’re done for good?
ESCOBEDO: I think you can never fully get rid of the Sanderson Sisters.
PEAK: They can always come back. It would be hard to create a third movie without the Sanderson Sisters, because it’s their movie. They are Hocus Pocus. It’s hard to imagine what a movie would be like without them.
BUCKINGHAM: Maybe a Hannah Waddingham prequel. More Hannah Waddingham screen time.
ESCOBEDO: What if Hannah Waddingham comes back for us?
She’s the bird at the end.
ESCOBEDO: Yes, she transforms into the bird in the beginning. Technically we never saw what happened to the Witch.
PEAK: We know she’s not dead.
About Hocus Pocus 2
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.
Hocus Pocus 2 premiered September 30 on Disney+.