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Halloween is coming up in the not-too-distant future, and we have some great news for you if you're already in the mood for some spooky updates about what's coming to the small screen. Disney Channel is bringing a beloved feature film to television for a brand new remake that could put an unexpected twist on a classic. Yes, 1993's Hocus Pocus is getting turned into a TV movie.
Disney Channel is still early in the development process on a Hocus Pocus TV movie, but we do know that the remake is being written by Scarlett Lacey of The Royals fame. We can bet that the tone will at least have some similarities to the original Hocus Pocus, as original film producer David Kirschner is on board as executive producer. That said, there will be some key differences that might not be so pleasing to fans of the original film.
The Hocus Pocus TV movie will have a new cast as well as a new director, according to Deadline. A big part of why the feature film has gained such a cult following is the delightfully campy performances from the actresses playing the three witchy Sanderson sisters who were executed in 1693, only to be resurrected 300 years later. The sisters were played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.
All three actresses have reportedly been interested in reprising their roles for a sequel, so it would have been reasonable to expect that they would be brought in for the remake. Bette Midler even dressed up as Winifred Sanderson for Halloween last year, and she went all-out in her costume. Nevertheless, the remake will evidently go in a different direction for the three witches. Director Kenny Ortega, who brought the first movie to the big screen and went on to helm the wildly popular High School Musical franchise for Disney Channel, is not attached. The Disney Channel version of Hocus Pocus will truly be a fresh take.
It should be interesting to see who Disney Channel signs to play the three witches this time around. Comparisons to Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are inevitable, and the new actresses to tackle the roles of the Sanderson sisters have some big shoes to fill. If the Hocus Pocus remake updates the setting from 1993 to 2017 or 2018, comparisons to the original might be less direct. After all, a lot has changed over the last 20+ years, and an updated version would be different enough from the original that both could theoretically stand on their own. The movie has been ripe for a remake, and we can only hope that it'll be as kid-friendly as the original.
We'll have to wait and see. The project is only in development at this point, so we won't get a Hocus Pocus TV movie in time for this Halloween. Hopefully we'll get it by next Halloween. For what you can watch while we wait for more Hocus Pocus, swing by our fall TV premiere guide.