Everything to Know About 'Hocus Pocus 2'

From the cast to the release date, here's everything to know about the upcoming sequel to the 1993 film

The Sanderson sisters are back!

More than 29 years after the original film hit theaters, Hocus Pocus is coming back for a thrilling sequel.

The upcoming Disney+ film will reunite our favorite witches Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy for a brand-new story set in Salem, Massachusetts.

The sequel to the beloved 1993 film was first announced in 2019 and began filming in late 2021.

In June 2022, Disney+ shared the first trailer for the film, which sheds light on how exactly the Sanderson sisters return after being defeated by Max, Dani and Allison in the original movie.

From the trailer to the official release date, here's everything to know about the upcoming Hocus Pocus sequel.

Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson in Disney's live-action HOCUS POCUS 2, exclusively on Disney+
Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker in Hocus Pocus 2 (2022). Matt Kennedy/Courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

What is Hocus Pocus 2 about?

The movie will pick up almost 30 years after Max lit the Black Flame Candle in the 1993 film version and accidentally resurrected three witches on the hunt to steal children.

In the sequel, Winifred, Sarah and Mary now seek revenge as they awaken in present-day Salem, according to Entertainment Weekly. Three teenagers — Becca, Cassie, and Izzy — must find a way to stop the witches from gaining retribution.

A second trailer released in September 2022 revealed that the film will also delve into the Sanderson sisters' origin story. In the clip, the sisters appear as teenagers who head to the woods after being banished from Salem, where they encounter a witch who puts them on the path of dark magic.

Who is starring in Hocus Pocus 2?

In addition to the return of Midler, Parker, and Najimy, the film will also introduce a handful of new characters.

Gossip Girl's Whitney Peak, Dirt's Lilia Buckingham, and American Horror Stories' Belissa Escobedo will play the three teens.

Also joining the cast are Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, Hannah Waddingham, Doug Jones, Juju Brener, Froy Gutierrez, Taylor Henderson, and Nina Kitchen.

Unfortunately, Omri Katz, who played teenage protagonist Max in the 1993 film, won't be in the sequel. In a September 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Katz said that he "would have loved to be involved" in the new movie, adding, "I feel bad for the original fan base saying we aren't because I'm sure they wanted to see us reprise our roles."

Still, the actor supports the film, stating, "I think it'll be good for everyone who loved the original!" He added, "I hope fans will go see it. I know I will."

(L-R): Belissa Escobedo as Izzy, Whitney Peak as Becca, and Lilia Buckingham as Cassie in Disney's live-action HOCUS POCUS 2, exclusively on Disney+.
Courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Who is directing Hocus Pocus 2?

While famed director Kenny Ortega was the mastermind behind the first film, Adam Shankman will be taking over for the sequel. 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.

Will there be any musical numbers in Hocus Pocus 2?

On Watch What Happens Live! in February, Parker teased that the Sanderson sisters have a few musical numbers up their sleeves in this film.

"Yes, there will be a number! Of course there will be a number — a number or two," quipped Parker when asked about the rumor by a fan via video.

During Disney's upfronts presentation in May, attendees also got a sneak peek of the film, featuring the three leads covering "The Bitch Is Back" by Elton John, as well as an appearance from zombie with a heart of gold Billy Butcherson (Doug Jones, reprising his role from the first film).

Where was Hocus Pocus 2 filmed?

While the upcoming film will be set in Salem, you won't see all the iconic spots from the first film. Unlike the 1993 film, which was filmed in Massachusetts and Hollywood, the sequel was filmed in Rhode Island.

Where to watch the Hocus Pocus 2 trailer?

Disney+ shared a teaser trailer for the upcoming film on June 28, which shows two teens lighting the Black Flame Candle and waking up the Sanderson sisters.

When will Hocus Pocus 2 be released?

The film will land on Disney+ Sept. 30.

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