Hocus Pocus’ Thora Birch Reveals She’s ‘Dismayed’ She Didn’t Get To Do The Sequel, And What Happened

Thora Birch in Hocus Pocus/Thora Birch in Kindred Spirits.
(Image credit: Disney/MarVista Entertainment)

As the spooky season inches closer, people are preparing to watch the beloved cult classic Hocus Pocus again and again and again. And with the long-awaited sequel finally releasing, we will have double the Sanderson Sisters. While Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Doug Jones are returning from the original cast, the movie will be without Omri Katz, Thora Birch, and Vinessa Shaw. Now Birch is opening up about her disappointment about not being in the sequel. 

Thora Birch portrayed young Dani Dennison, the annoying yet lovable little sister to Omri Katz’s Max. When the Hocus Pocus sequel was announced, it was revealed that the trio wouldn’t be in the new movie, and the reason for them not returning made sense. If they were in the movie, it would have been with them as the main cast and just as background characters, which simply couldn’t be done since it was difficult and would be a distraction from the main story, according to director Anne Fletcher.

Birch spoke to ET recently, and she got candid about not being part of the sequel despite being one of the main stars in the original movie 30 years ago:

I was just a little dismayed I wasn’t able to make it. I was working on something else when they were filming, otherwise, I was definitely going to be there on set with the girls. I can’t wait to see what they do with it. I know they’re taking a completely different, fresh approach, so I’m excited.

It’s definitely a disappointment that Thora Birch, Omri Katz, and Vinessa Shaw aren’t in Hocus Pocus 2. Though it sounds like if not for Birch filming something, she would have found a way to be in the movie, or at least on set, especially since she knew what the Disney+ sequel's story was. It does make me wonder what a sequel involving the trio would look like.

Meanwhile, the cast of Hocus Pocus 2, besides the returning four, involves not only a new young trio dealing with the Sanderson Sisters but young versions of the witches as well. Hopefully, if there is another Hocus Pocus movie, we’ll see the returns of Max, Alison, and Dani. 

Thora Birch has been plenty busy since Hocus Pocus three decades ago. The actress continued to succeed on both the big and small screens in the ‘90s and ‘00s, including as Tina “Teeny” Tercell in the coming-of-age film Now and Then. She can also be heard on the podcast Overleaper, and she was on The Walking Dead as Gamma/Mary. Birch is set to make her television directorial debut with Lifetime’s The Gabby Petito Story, airing October 1.

Although we won’t be seeing the return of Dani Dennison, fans should take comfort in the fact that if it was up to her and if she had time, it definitely would have happened. At least Hocus Pocus is always on TV every October and, it can be streamed on Disney+ with a subscription whenever we feel like it. Plus, Hocus Pocus 2 drops on Friday, September 30, only on Disney+! Check out what upcoming horror movies are creeping up next following Hocus Pocus 2

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.