Witch please! The highly-anticipated sequel to 1993's Hocus Pocus has officially summoned its original cast members — Bette Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy — back for another round of magical hijinks as the wicked Sanderson sisters. The film, which is being helmed by Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses), is set to arrive on Disney+ sometime next year, the streaming platform confirmed early Thursday afternoon.
In Hocus Pocus 2, three young women accidentally bring the trio of child-hungry witches back to life in modern day Salem and must then figure out how to stop them before they wreak irrerprable havoc on the 21st century.
The production plans to mount its broomstick and kick off from the ground this fall. Fletcher took over directorial duties from Adam Shankman, who is currently filming Disenchanted, the follow-up to 2007's breakout hit, Enchanted.
“As heartbroken as I am that I won’t be able to direct my friends Bette, Sarah Jessica, and Kathy in what is sure to be nothing short of a major event for Disney+ due to scheduling conflicts, I couldn’t be more pleased to be handing over the reins to Anne, who has brought so much laughter and joy into people’s lives with her previous work,” Shankman, who will stay on as an executive producer said. “I am still grateful and proud to help shepherd this ingenious project as executive producer alongside producer Lynn Harris, whom I have loved and admired as a colleague and friend since she helped get me the job choreographing Boogie Nights.”
“Now more than ever, people need to laugh. We should be laughing every day, and there is so much fun to be had with these three unbelievable women playing delicious characters from such a beloved film,” added Fletcher. “I am so grateful to be able to play a part in bringing these witches back to life, and to be working with my friends at Disney again makes it all the more special. This is a movie for everyone, from the fans who grew up with the first film to the next generation of viewers, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Ralph Winter (Adrift) and David Kirschner (Curse of Chucky) are executive producing alongside Shankman. Steven Haft (Tigerland) is co-producer.
Filming for Disenchanted began earlier this week, with returning cast members Amy Adams (Giselle), Patrick Dempsey (Robert Philip), Idina Menzel (Nancy Tremaine), and James Marsden (Prince Edward). The Oscar-nominated duo of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz are also back to create the music. Set 15 years after the first movie, the sequel finds Giselle attempting to adapt to suburban life with Robert and their teenage daughter, Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino). SNL's Maya Rudolph is among the cast's newcomers, playing Giselle's latest enemy, Malvina. Kolton (Malvina's son, Stewart), Yvette Nicole Brown (Rosalyn), Jayma Mays (Ruby), and Oscar Nunez (Edgar) co-star.
“Working again with Disney has been like coming home,” Shankman, who will still produce Hocus Pocus 2, said in a statement. “With Amy and this extraordinary cast, Alan and Stephen’s mind blowing new score, and Barry and Disney’s support, I just hope to bring magic and joy to audiences around the world.”
“I guess dreams do come true…producing Enchanted was the most rewarding film experience I’ve ever had," added producer Barry Josephson. "I’m so excited for Adam Shankman to begin filming Disenchanted. I want to thank everyone at Disney for supporting us all the way. Very special thanks to Amy Adams for deciding to play ‘Giselle,’ the character she created again! And we are so fortunate to have this incredible cast!”