Adam Shankman will direct the Hocus Pocus sequel for Disney+ — but will the original stars take part?

By Alexia Fernández
Updated March 05, 2020 12:54 PM
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Halloween may be over but Hocus Pocus lives on.

The 1993 film starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy has continued to be one of the season’s most-watched films, including one of the most popular costumes replicated by celebrities and fans alike.

With a director now attached to the film, here’s everything to know about the long-awaited sequel to the classic Disney film.

1. Adam Shankman will direct.

The Hairspray director confirmed the news on his Instagram with pictures of the script titles he was working on (including the sequel to Enchanted, Disenchanted) for Disney+.

“Yep….Thanks with all of my heart dear @disney Looks like Il be working on a looooooottttt of magic for awhile… I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be guiding forward these two Disney crown jewel legacies,” Shankman wrote in the caption.

He added, “My only hope is to honor those who came before me and build something new and exciting, as I desperately try to not let down the fans and enchant the new initiates! Fingers crossed! Xo.”

Shankman has directed other famous films such as Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise, A Walk to Remember and The Wedding Planner.

2. Midler, Najimy and Parker are on board for a sequel.

At Midler’s annual Hulaween event in New York City in November 2019, the star said she would be more than happy to reprise her role as Winifred Sanderson in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy in Hocus Pocus
| Credit: Disney/Kobal/Shutterstock

“Oh my goodness me. Oh I hope they get to me before I’m a corpse,” joked Midler, 74, who was dressed as classic Hollywood legend Mae West for Halloween. “We wanna fly again. I hope Disney+ is a big success and I hope we get to do it, because [Winnie] is, of course, one of my favorite characters.”

Parker, 54, gave fans even more of a reason to get excited in an Instagram post in October 2019, sharing a photo of the three women in the movie during the “I Put a Spell on You” musical number scene.

“We have all said yes. Now we wait,” she responded to a fan who asked about the “chance of a sequel.”

ET also spoke to Najimy, 63, at Midler’s event, where she admitted she “heard about [the new movie] online the same time as [everyone else]” and that the “honest answer” about her joining the cast is that “Sarah and Bette and I all have a million projects and things that we’re into, so I don’t know if they’re gonna offer us [roles].”

“I don’t know if the worlds are going to collide so that we could all three do it at the same time. … But I’m happy that it’s happening because the fans are really rabid and they really want it,” she added, smiling. “[And] if we’re not all available to star in it, I think it would be so great to do a cameo. I think that’d be really fun.”

Bette Midler continues to dress as Winifred Sanderson for Halloween
| Credit: Rebecca Smeyne/Getty Images

Disney is developing a follow up to its 1993 cult classic Hocus Pocus, according to multiple reports.

With no stars officially attached, it is not known whether the project will be a direct sequel to the original film or a reboot, with a new set of characters. However, it was reported Disney is hopeful Midler, Parker, and Najimy will be involved in some capacity.

The sequel — which will be written by Workaholics writer and co-producer Jen D’Angelo — will air on the studio’s new streaming platform, Disney+, which launched in November.

4. Midler encouraged fans to ask Disney for a sequel

The Tony Award-winning actress has long expressed interest in returning to her role of Winifred, which she has said many times before is her favorite acting role.

During a Reddit AMA in Nov. 2014, the singer-actress encouraged fans to “inundate the Disney company.”

“I have canvassed the girls and they are willing to do it, but we have no say in it,” said Midler — who has dressed up for Halloween as Winifred Sanderson since and even sang “I Put a Spell on You,” her hit from the movie, on tour. “So if you want a Hocus Pocus 2, ask the Walt Disney company.”

In the fall of 2016, Parker also expressed excitement at the idea of reuniting with her evil Salem witch sisters someday.

I would love that,” the Sex and the City star said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in October 2016. “I think we’ve all been fairly vocal about being very keen but that hasn’t created any groundswell of movement.”