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Hocus Pocus 2 - What We Know So Far

When Kenny Ortega's Hocus Pocus was released in 1993, nobody knew it would be a slow burn to one of the most enduring Halloween cult classics. The story focused on the Sanderson sisters, who teenager Max had accidentally brought back on Halloween night by being a virgin who lit the cursed black flame candle. The Sanderson sisters, who needed the life force of children to stay alive, were foiled by Max, his girlfriend Allison, his younger sister Dani, and a talking black cat.

The film's opening weekend was a modest $8.1 million at the box office, but over the years has collected over $44 million worldwide. More importantly, it put a spell on baby millennials everywhere. They've been asking for a sequel for years, and right before the pandemic was in full effect, we started receiving news of developments for the film. After a year of setbacks in the filming industry and repeated hints from the cast and crew, available information is growing.

When will Hocus Pocus 2 be released?

When Hocus Pocus 2 was announced in 2019, there weren't too many updates on when the highly anticipated sequel would be released, due in large part to filming delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The film was originally announced as one of the many projects Disney was using to boost interest in its then-new Disney+ streaming service. 

Throughout 2020, director Adam Shankman confirmed via some very titillating Instagram pics that the minds behind the movie were in the thick of development. He posted to his Instagram account a picture of the script's title page in March 2020, and a second one of a revised script in July. In October 2020, Shankman reposted a "#vote" campaign video that featured the witches from Hocus Pocus using a little bit of their magic.

Kathy Najimy, the original Mary Sanderson, confirmed in January 2021 during an appearance on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show that she had read the script but didn't have details on logistics at the time. "Sarah [Jessica Parker] and Bette [Midler] and I had like a couple of weeks on the phone talking about the script, and that was really fun, obviously," Najimy said (via ComicBook.com). "So we talked a lot about notes ... Now it's just location, times and dates, and how long and all that. So it's just, it's those things. So, you know, I can't really give a yay or nay either way."

Finally, in May 2021, it was announced that Hocus Pocus 2 will be released sometime in 2022 (via the Hollywood Reporter).

Who will be in Hocus Pocus 2?

Fans of the cult hit will rejoice that all three original Sanderson sisters — Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson, and Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson — have all confirmed they are returning for Hocus Pocus 2.

Thora Birch, who played Max's younger sister Dani, was only 11 years old at the time of the first film. She's since gone on to star in feature films like Ghost Town and a little film called American Beauty. Although she hasn't confirmed if she's been asked to return, The Walking Dead star has expressed interest in the story. On being asked if she would return, Birch told Hollywood Life, "If they would have me ... depending on [the storyline]. I'm sure Dani's not going to be selling crack in an alley anywhere, so I'm pretty open minded."

No word yet on if Omri Katz (Max) or Vinessa Shaw, who played girlfriend Allison, will return. The events of the first film were narrated by classic black cat Thackery Binx, voiced by Jason Marsden. Although no word of his return either, let's hope that any animatronics cats on set behave better than the ones Birch had to deal with 28 years ago.

What's the plot of Hocus Pocus 2?

While we can assume that someone will probably light the black flame, details about the plot for the upcoming sequel have been sparse. When it was first announced, Disney had originally said the new film would be a reboot, which immediately caused Midler and her fellow actresses to lose any interest in the film, according to MovieWeb. Disney changed its tune and noted that the movie would definitely be a sequel.

In 2018, Disney released a novel in celebration of the film's 25th anniversary, titled Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel. The book told the story as it happened in the first film, and in part 2, showed a grown up and married version of Max and Allison, now with 17-year-old daughter Poppy. It was Poppy's turn to take on the Sanderson sisters and defeat them before Halloween night was over.

Writer Jen D'Angelo (Workaholics, Solar Opposites) hasn't commented on whether the script follows any possibilities laid out from the young adult novel. The three confirmed cast members, who are vets at their craft, have remained tight-lipped about any details beyond their excitement.

Although Midler hasn't revealed any details, she's definitely adding to the hype. In October 2020, for Midler's annual costume gala, a fundraiser for the nonprofit New York Restoration Project, she included a video titled "In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover" that saw the return of the sisters in full costume, along with Dani, Max, and a slew of other big name stars (including Meryl Streep).