I smell… a sequel!
"Hocus Pocus 2" is one step closer to becoming a reality as Variety reports that "Hairspray" filmmaker Adam Shankman will direct the upcoming sequel to the 1993 cult hit “Hocus Pocus” starring Bette Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.
Disney+ treated fans to the sequel announcement just a few days before Halloween in 2019, but Shankman’s attachment to the project makes things official.
The film was penned by “Workaholics” writer and co-producer Jen D’Angelo. Lynn Harris is also set to produce.
Shankman is also set to spearhead the sequel to Disney’s “Enchanted” titled “Disenchanted.” It’s unclear which film will go into production first.
While no premiere date has been announced, given “Hocus Pocus’s” connection to Halloween, it would make sense if the release coincided with the spooky holiday.
For now, none of the original “Hocus Pocus” stars have signed onto the project.
Sources say the studio hopes the trio of actresses, who played the iconic Sanderson sisters, will reprise their roles, and it seems possible since all three actresses revealed that they’re more than happy to conjure up their witchy roles again even for a small cameo.
“Oh my goodness me. Oh I hope they get to me before I’m a corpse,” Midler said at her annual Halloween charity gala in 2019. “We wanna fly again. I hope Disney+ is a big success and I hope we get to do it, because [Winnie] is, of course, one of my favorite characters.”
Although the 73-year-old hasn’t officially jumped on board, she added, "I can't wait to read the script. We're gonna see what happens."
While Najimy, who played Winnie’s sister Mary Sanderson, would also be interested in joining the project, she’s not sure if it will actually happen.
"But here's the honest answer: Sarah and Bette and I all have a million projects and things that we're into, so I don't know if they're gonna offer us [roles],” she said at the same event. “I don't know if the worlds are going to collide so that we could all three do it at the same time."
Despite not wanting to get hopes up, the 62-year-old isn’t writing it off completely.
Najimy continued, “[And] if we’re not all available to star in it, I think it would be so great to do a cameo. I think that’d be really fun.”
Meanwhile, Parker, who portrayed Sarah Sanderson, got fans excited for the possibility of an OG reunion after she told one of her Instagram followers, “we have all said yes. Now we wait.”
Since the film's plot has remained under wraps, it’s also unclear if Omri Katz (Max Dennison), Vinessa Shaw (Allison), or Thora Birch (Danni Dennison) will reprise their roles or if the film will be centered on their children waking up the Sanderson sisters from a deep slumber.
Millennials may be shocked to realize that when “Hocus Pocus” was released - in the middle of the summer and not anywhere near Halloween - the film was a critical and financial disappointment. It premiered in fourth place at the weekend box office before disappearing shortly thereafter. In total, it earned just $39 million worldwide.
Its cult status emerged from annual TV airings on Disney Channel and ABC Family (now Freeform) and DVD/BluRay sales.