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Thora Birch Reveals Why She Didn't Return In Hocus Pocus 2

"Hocus Pocus 2" is finally here, reuniting fans with the malevolent Sanderson sisters nearly 30 years after the release of the Halloween cult classic "Hocus Pocus." One of the most impressive aspects of the hotly-anticipated sequel is the fact that most of the cast of the original film reprised their iconic roles without skipping a beat.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy (who play Sarah, Winifred, and Mary Sanderson respectively) pick up right where they left off following their defeat in "Hocus Pocus" — as the three wicked witches set off to terrorize a brand-new generation of teenagers throughout Salem, Massacusetts. Also returning is actor Doug Jones as the zombified Billy Butcherson: a former lover of Winifred who was raised from the dead during the witches' last attack on Salem.

Although it's certainly exciting to see these beloved characters reunited on the big screen again, one notable absence from "Hocus Pocus 2" is actor Thora Birch: who played the character of Danielle "Dani" Dennison in the original film. Fans of the series will remember that Dani served as the deuteragonist of "Hocus Pocus" alongside her brother Max Dennison (Omri Katz), and her absence in the sequel seems highly odd. In fact, according to Thora Birch herself, there's actually a very specific reason why she didn't return for "Hocus Pocus 2," as she would have absolutely loved to return for the new movie.

Birch wanted to return for the sequel, but she had a scheduling conflict

During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Thora Birch expressed her regrets about not appearing in "Hocus Pocus 2," claiming that her participation in the sequel would have conflicted with another project she is working on. "I was just a little dismayed I wasn't able to make it," Birch admitted. "I was working on something else when they were filming, otherwise I was definitely going to be there on set with the girls."

Despite her disappointment about not returning for "Hocus Pocus 2," Birch went on to reiterate her enthusiasm for the long-awaited sequel: praising the new direction the film is taking and expressing her excitement for the upcoming 30th anniversary of the original "Hocus Pocus." Although it's currently unclear exactly what production required Birch to miss out on reprising her role in "Hocus Pocus 2," her upcoming projects include the upcoming drama "The Midway Point" and Netflix's series "Wednesday," –- a production that Birch abruptly exited despite filming most of the first season as a character named Tamara Novak.

In any case, it's clear that Thora Birch's exclusion from "Hocus Pocus 2" was primarily due to a scheduling conflict — and considering Birch's clear desire to reprise her role in the series, there's even a small chance she could return in another sequel since the ending of "Hocus Pocus 2" seems to hint at another movie.