Hocus Pocus 2 is reportedly moving forward with a new director at the helm. Previously, it had been reported that Adam Shankman was on board to direct the anticipated sequel for Disney+, using a screenplay written by Jen D’Angelo (Workaholics). A new report from The DisInsider has now revealed that Shankman has been replaced on the project by choreographer and filmmaker Anne Fletcher (Step Up, The Guilt Trip).
Shankman had also been tapped by Disney to direct the upcoming Enchanted sequel Disenchanted. The director will continue in his role on that movie, which is expected to shoot through the summer. This is likely the biggest reason behind Shankman’s reported replacement, as word is Hocus Pocus 2 will also start shooting this Summer/Fall. Oddly enough, Fletcher was originally attached to direct Disenchanted before the project was put on hold until recently.
Hocus Pocus 2 will bring back Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy reprising their roles as the three Sanderson sisters. Full details about the plot haven’t been divulged beyond their involvement, so it’s unclear if any other original stars from the first movie will be on board. Billy Butcherson actor Doug Jones has previously expressed his interest in returning for Hocus Pocus 2, as has Thora Birch, who played Dani Dennison.
“I’m excited for it,” Birch said of the sequel in an interview with Hollywood Life last year. “They’ve been talking about this reboot for five years. I’m excited to see what it all looks like. I know a little bit about a couple of ideas for stories, but I don’t know where it’s all going to fall at the end of the day.”
“There was talk about doing a ’20 years later’ sequel that I would have been involved with,” Jones told Digital Spy in 2018. “I was actually approached and asked about that. I would love to reprise Billy Butcherson.”
Directed by Kenny Ortega and written by Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert, Hocus Pocus was released in the summer of 1993. It followed a trio of villainous witches resurrected on Halloween night in Salem, Massachusetts. The movie was a box office bomb when it was first released, but it has grown a tremendously large fan base in the years since. Every year, the movie is regularly screened on television with many fans considering it a crime to let a Halloween season pass by without watching Hocus Pocus.
Needless to say, there has been a fan demand for years to see a sequel. Ahead of the filming of Hocus Pocus 2, the cast got back together for a virtual reunion special. In October, Midler hosted a special reunion of the cast to benefit the New York Restoration Project. The one-time-only event was only made available to watch for fans who bought tickets to watch that night. Midler, Najimy, Parker, Jones, and other stars from the movie were featured along with special guests like Elvira, Jamie Lee Curtis, Meryl Streep, John Stamos, Glenn Close, Billy Crystal, and Adam Lambert.
There’s not currently a release date attached to Hocus Pocus 2. This information comes to us from The DisInsider.