Disney+ is officially conjuring up a new Hocus Pocus movie, with the streaming service announcing the sequel will be released in 2022. Disney+ also confirmed that The Proposal filmmaker Anne Fletcher is taking over directing duties from Adam Shankman, who previously was attached to direct and remains on as an executive producer.
Hocus Pocus 2 is a follow-up to the 1993 feature that starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as three witches who were resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts, and who are bent on becoming immortal. All three are returning for the sequel, which begins production in the fall. The sequel sees three young women accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to modern-day Salem. They must stop the child-hungry witches from causing a new kind of toil and trouble.
“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,” says Shankman, who is in production on Disenchanted for Disney. “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.”
Fletcher, a longtime friend of Shankman’s dating back to their time working as dancers on the 1990 Oscars telecast, said in her own statement, “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,” Fletcher continued. “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.”
Kenny Ortega helmed the first Hocus Pocus, which was viewed as a box office disappointment, earning $39 million, but becoming a cult classic on home entertainment.
Lynn Harris is serving as producer on Hocus Pocus 2. Executive producers include Ralph Winter and David Kirschner. Steven Haft is co-producer.