Double double toil and trouble. We already knew Disney was developing a sequel to the much-beloved classic Hocus Pocus, but now a director has been attached to the project, which is the next step in bringing the story to the big screen.
The original 1993 film was directed by Kenny Ortega (he of High School Musical fame) from a script by Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris. The sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter, has Adam Shankman attached to direct. Shankman has previously directed films like Hairspray and A Walk to Remember. He is also attached to produce Disney’s Enchanted sequel, titled Disenchanted, which is presumably a thing that is still happening.
The 1993 film became a Halloween classic, despite its meager box office showing, which could partially be blamed on the fact that it was released in July rather than, you know, the Halloween season. That film featured three Salem-based witches played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy who sought immortality (classic witch goal) by stealing youth from children (classic witch method).
The viewer follows teen boy Max Dennison, who moves from California to Salem, Massachusetts only to accidentally bring the trio of soul-sucking witches back to life. The movie ends with Max, his crush Allison, and little sister Dani, vanquishing the Sanderson sisters without losing their souls in the process. Hocus Pocus has become a mainstay of many a family’s Halloween media-watching tradition.
The Hocus Pocus sequel script is penned by Jen D’Angelo (Workaholics), presumably not from the follow-up book published in 2018, though that would be cool. Called Hocus Pocus & the All-New Sequel, the sequel was written by A.W. Jantha with illustrations from Matt Griffin. It follows Max and Allison’s 17-year-old daughter, Poppy, as she faces off against the Sanderson sisters her parents defeated all those years ago, which wouldn’t be a terrible premise for a film sequel…
There is no official announcement on whether or not Midler, Parker, or Najimy will return for the sequel, or if other cast members such as Omri Katz (Max), Thora Birch (Dani) or Vinessa Shaw (Allison), who were all youngsters in the first flick, could be back for the continuation of the popular story. But that would be very cool. It wouldn’t be a Hocus Pocus sequel without the protagonists we love from the original flick.
The film is being developed for Disney’s Disney+ subscription streaming platform. We will keep you apprised of any developments once we hear them.