'Hocus Pocus 2' Headed To Disney+ Next Year With Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, And Kathy Najimy Returning

Hocus Pocus was a flop when it opened in theaters in 1993, but people revisiting it on home video every Halloween helped turn it into a cult hit. For years now, fans have been hoping for a sequel, and original cast members Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy have all expressed interest in returning. Disney finally announced a sequel was on the way in 2019, but Midler, Parker, and Najimy remained unattached. Now, that's changed – the three actresses are all set to return, and Hocus Pocus 2 will hit Disney+ next year.

It's been a little surreal to watch Hocus Pocus become some sort of beloved classic. I can remember it opening in theaters and being greeted with little more than a shrug. But holiday-themed movies are a curious thing. People tend to revisit them on a yearly basis – Christmas movies during Christmas time, Halloween movies during Halloween season, and so on. And that repetition tends to increase awareness of something that otherwise might've vanished into the dustbin of history. Hocus Pocus is a great example of this – a film that, let's be honest, isn't that great, but is still embraced by tons of people who grew up watching it every Halloween.

The steadily-growing fandom has been asking for a sequel for years now, and by 2019, Disney was ready to admit that yes, a sequel was on the way. But, curiously, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, who played the witches the Sanderson sisters, remained uninvolved. Thankfully, everyone can breathe easy knowing that Midler, Parker, and Najimy are all officially signed on.

When Hocus Pocus 2 was first announced, Adam Shankman was set to direct. But Shankman is currently making the Enchanted sequel Disenchanted, so directing duties have been handed over to Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses). Shankman will remain an executive producer on Hocus Pocus 2. "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 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."

Anne Fletcher added: "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. 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."

In Hocus Pocus 2, "three young women accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to modern-day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world." Disney says the film will premiere on Disney+ in 2022 but doesn't list a specific date. However, on Twitter, Middler said we can expect to see the film in "Fall 2022," so it's probably safe to assume it'll arrive sometime around Halloween.