The original Hocus Pocus was technically a theatrical flop when it debuted in the 1990s. But time and distance (and repeated viewings every Halloween on the Disney Channel and Disney+) have morphed it into a timeless classic. Now, Disney+ is making a sequel: Hocus Pocus 2. So, let’s run down everything known about the project so far.
Even before Disney+ launched, the rumors about a potential Hocus Pocus 2 have been swirling. The streaming service was initially launched by focusing on newer franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the potential to start mining older beloved films in the studio’s vast library was always in the cards. It was just a matter of how, when, and if any of the original stars — namely, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy — would be back.
The actors have expressed interest in coming back for another movie multiple times. But even so, fans had to wait and see if it would come to fruition. Finally, on May 20, 2021, Disney+ announced that the stars had aligned and the Sanderson sisters would return to modern-day Salem once more. Whoever lit the black flame candle deserves a huge round of applause and a lot of Halloween candy.
Hocus Pocus 2 Teaser
Each gave their spin on the return with different captions, with Parker's reading, "Yep. I'm ready. To run. Amok, amok, amok, amok," while Najimy's said: "The people have spoken: I smell children...again."
Hocus Pocus 2 Cast
All three Sanderson actors are returning for the new sequel, with Midler, Parker, and Najimy confirming they will return. So far, that’s all who will be back, though. There’s no mention of Thora Birch or Omri Katz coming back as adult versions of Dani and Max Dennison, at least not yet.
Fans will also be sad to note that neither Billy Butcherson nor Thackery Binx is mentioned in the press release announcing the sequel film. Binx, the black cat voiced by James Marsden, is a huge fan-favorite, but Marsden is a major star with a lot of big-screen commitments, including Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Butcherson, played by Doug Jones, was also a character to remember. But Jones now is majorly enmeshed in Paramout+’s Star Trek franchise as part of the Discovery ensemble. Hopefully the new movie can find a way to bring back both these legacy characters in some fashion.
Hocus Pocus 2 Plot
So far, all fans have to go on is the Disney+ logline for the new film: “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.”
That certainly sounds like a new adventure and a chance for Disney+ to create an all-new cast for what is probably a setup for multiple sequels. Who will play these new young women, and how the Sandersons respond to the 21st century remains to be seen. (Considering how they felt about the 20th century, this could be pretty interesting.)
Hocus Pocus 2 Release Date
According to the Disney+ press release, Hocus Pocus 2 is scheduled to start filming in the fall of 2021, with Anne Fletcher directing. (The original movie’s director Adam Shankman is busy with Disenchanted.)
The film is currently planned for arrival on Disney+ in the fall of 2022, probably right in time for Halloween.