It has been nearly 30 years since the Sanderson sisters, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, were resurrected and brought thrills and chills to the town of Salem, Massachusetts, in the beloved Disney Halloween classic Hocus Pocus. And even though the three witches met a rather unfortunate fate way back in the fall of 1993, the Sandersons will be back in the flesh in the upcoming Hocus Pocus 2.
This Halloween season, the long-in-the-works sequel will bring back the iconic witches, who will return to their old haunting grounds once more to terrorize a new crop of curious schoolchildren, and there’s a lot we already know. Grab your broom and lace up your Nike cross-trainers because we’re going back to Salem to see what’s going on with what could possibly be one of the best Disney+ movies.
Hocus Pocus 2 Will Premiere In Fall 2022 As A Disney+ Exclusive
For what seems like forever (but not as long as the Sanderson Sisters’ 300-year exile), the Hocus Pocus 2 release date remained a mystery, with the only concrete information being that the movie would be a Disney+ exclusive and premiere at some point in Fall 2022. Well, EW confirmed that not only will the long-awaited sequel premiere this fall, it will make its big premiere September 30th on the popular streaming service. Talk about one heck of a way to kick off the Halloween season. I guess we can add this to the list of movies and shows to stream on Disney to get into the Halloween spirit.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, And Kathy Najimy Are Returning As The Sanderson Sisters
It would be difficult to make a Hocus Pocus sequel without the O.G. witches, but luckily that’s a problem we won’t have to face when the Sanderson sisters return later this year. Disney has announced that Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy will be returning as Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson for Hocus Pocus 2, terrifying a new generation of kids in the process. Parker was quick to share her enthusiasm with her Instagram followers in November 2021 when the actress revealed rehearsals were underway on the upcoming Disney+ movie:
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But, the bewitched triple threat won’t be the only members of the original cast to return for another tale, as The Shape of Water star Doug Jones will be reprising his undead character, Billy Butcherson, years after returning to his grave.
The Hocus Pocus 2 Cast Also Includes Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, And Hannah Waddingham
In addition to the returning characters, the Hocus Pocus 2 cast will also see some new faces, including three of the brightest stars in the comedy world right now. In November 2021, Disney announced that former Veep stars Tony Hale and Sam Richardson, as well as Ted Lasso standout and Primetime Emmy Award-winner Hannah Waddingham, would all be involved with the upcoming sequel, though only Hale’s character, Salem mayor Jeffrey Traske, has been revealed at this time. However, Hale revealed that he will also be playing an “evil reverend” when speaking with Variety at the Being the Ricardos premiere in December 2021.
The Hocus Pocus 2 cast also includes Whitney Peak, Lilia Buckingham, and Belissa Escobedo as three high school students who find themselves going head-to-head with the returning Sanderson sisters. Juju Brener, Froy Gutierrez, Taylor Paige Henderson, and Nina Kitchen are all set to appear in undisclosed roles.
The Movie Will Follow Three High School Students As They Attempt To Stop The Recently Returned Sanderson Sisters
Hocus Pocus 2 will see the return of the Sanderson sisters 29 years after they were vanquished before they could carry out their plans and become immortal. The circumstances surrounding the return of the trio of witches, and how they were able to come back after being turned to dust all those years ago, remains to be seen. This time around, three high school students will come together and find a way to defeat the Sandersons once and for all before they can put their latest plan into motion before the stroke of midnight on All Hallow’s Eve.
Bette Midler Was Floored After Reading An Outline Of The Story
There had been talk of a Hocus Pocus sequel for years following the first movie’s release, but nothing ever materialized. That all changed within the past few years, and the spooky witch train has officially left the station. When the project started to really gain momentum in late 2020, Bette Midler had a chat with People, in which she revealed how she and her co-stars reacted when they read an outline of Hocus Pocus 2, stating:
And, while not much has been revealed about the specifics of the Hocus Pocus 2 story, hopefully Bette Midler’s enthusiasm means we’ll get to see them on their trusty brooms once more.
Hocus Pocus 2 Is Being Helmed By Dumplin' Director Anne Fletcher
The first Hocus Pocus is one of the best Kenny Ortega movies, but the choreographer-turned-director won’t be back to helm the upcoming sequel. It’s not all bad news, though, because Deadline reported in May 2021 that Hocus Pocus 2 will be directed by Anne Fletcher, who followed a similar career path to her predecessor. Over the years, Fletcher has served as a choreographer on movies like Hairspray (2007), The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Step Up 2: The Streets, while also directing Step Up, The Proposal, and Dumplin’, to name only a few.
The Disney+ Movie Started Filming In Rhode Island In October 2021
After years of buzz surrounding Hocus Pocus 2, production on the long-awaited sequel reportedly kicked off in Rhode Island in fall 2021, bringing us one step closer to seeing the Sandersons back in action. According to What’s Up Newp, a Newport, Rhode Island, publication, cameras started rolling in the smallest state in the union on October 18, 2021.
Initial principal photography wrapped in early 2022, according to tweets by Bette Midler and then later by Anne Fletcher. There have reportedly been re-shoots, but nothing has been confirmed by the production team, cast, or Disney, and the film appears to be on track for its September 30 premiere on Disney+.
There is still quite a bit we don’t yet know about Hocus Pocus 2 (like when we’ll get a trailer), but make sure to check back, because there will surely be more updates on the project and all the other upcoming Disney movies in the very near future. In the meantime, take a look at our guide to all the other 2022 new movie releases.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.