After more than five months since the official confirmation of Hocus Pocus 2, Disney+ has finally announced that Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy have officially signed on to reprise their iconic witchy roles as the Sanderson sisters in the long-awaited sequel. In addition, executive producer Adam Shankman (Hairspray), who is currently in production for Disney+’s Enchanted sequel Disenchanted, has decided to exit the director’s chair due to scheduling conflicts. Shankman’s long-time collaborator and friend Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) will now be taking over Hocus Pocus 2 as its new director.
“As heartbroken as I am that I won’t be able to direct my friends Bette, Sarah Jessica, and Kathy in what is sure to be nothing short of a major event for Disney+ due to scheduling conflicts, I couldn’t be more pleased to be handing over the reins to Anne, who has brought so much laughter and joy into people’s lives with her previous work,” Shankman said in a statement. “I am still grateful and proud to help shepherd this ingenious project as executive producer alongside producer Lynn Harris, whom I have loved and admired as a colleague and friend since she helped get me the job choreographing ‘Boogie Nights.’”
Hocus Pocus 2 is a live-action comedy sequel to Disney’s 1993 cult classic Hocus Pocus, which was directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical). It will center around three young women who 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. The upcoming movie is bringing back everyone’s favorite witch sisters, multi-award-winning actress Bette Midler (The First Wives Club) as Winifred Sanderson, four-time Golden Globe winner Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) as Sarah Sanderson and Kathy Najimy (Sister Act) as Mary Sanderson.
“Now more than ever, people need to laugh. We should be laughing every day, and there is so much fun to be had with these three unbelievable women playing delicious characters from such a beloved film,” Fletcher said. “I am so grateful to be able to play a part in bringing these witches back to life, and to be working with my friends at Disney again makes it all the more special. This is a movie for everyone, from the fans who grew up with the first film to the next generation of viewers, and I can’t wait to get started.”
The sequel will be directed by Anne Fletcher, with Jen D’Angelo (Workaholics) previously attached to pen the project. It will be produced by Lynn Harris and Steven Haft. Executive producers are Adam Shankman, Ralph Winter, and David Kirschner.
The original film followed the story of a teenage boy who accidentally brings a trio of villainous Salem witches back to life on Halloween night. Although Hocus Pocus wasn’t a critical and commercial success by the time of its release, it still stood the test of time through countless annual airings and has now become a cult classic film.
Hocus Pocus 2 is slated to debut in the fall of 2022, exclusively on Disney+.