Someone lit the black flame candle...

By Caroline Goldstein
October 27, 2020
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Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Update, October 26th, 2020, 10:52 a.m. ET: Someone lit the black flame candle because the Sanderson Sisters are coming back, officially this time. Hocus Pocus 2 has been in the works for a long time now, but it seemed Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy had never been attached. Now, Midler has confirmed that all three are on board the sequel.

In an interview with Fox 5 New York’s Good Day New York, Midler, who played Winifred Sanderson, said "all of us said yes" to Hocus Pocus 2.

"They want to make a movie, they’ve asked us if we were interested and of course all of us said yes,” said Midler, according to ET Canada. “I’m game, I’m totally game.”

Now, we just have to see if Thackery Binx will be back, too.

Update March 5th, 2020 9:45 a.m. EST: It’s been months since we heard any news about the forthcoming Hocus Pocus sequel from Disney+, and some of us were losing hope that it was even still in the works. However, it turns out our conjuring spells have worked their magic. Hocus Pocus 2 is still on the docket, and to prove they mean business, Disney hired Adam Shankman to direct.

Shankman’s repertoire includes 2007’s Hairspray and 2002’s A Walk to Remember. Alongside Hocus Pocus 2, Shankman is also working on a follow up to the Amy Adams-led flick Enchanted. 

“Yep….Thanks with all of my heart dear @disney,” Shankman captioned a March 4th Instagram post. “Looks like Il be working on a looooooottttt of magic for awhile…”

He continued, “I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be guiding forward these two Disney crown jewel legacies. 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!”

To make things even better, Schitt’s Creek‘s Dan Levy commented on Shankman’s post, “Put me in, coach!!” We don’t know about you, but that would be a perfect casting choice for either project.

Variety reports that original Hocus Pocus cast members, including Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy—who all played members of the Sanderson sister coven, are still not yet attached, despite Midler’s desire to reprise her role as Winifred Sanderson.

As Shankman said, “fingers crossed!” We’ll keep you up to date as soon as more details about the sequel unfurl.

Update November 4th, 9:40 a.m. EST: Another glorious morning! Bette Midler, aka Winifred Sanderson, caught wind of the official Hocus Pocus sequel, and she’s ready to grab her broomstick.

“Oh my goodness me. Oh, I hope they get to me before I’m a corpse,” Midler told Entertainment Tonight. “We wanna fly again. I hope Disney+ is a big success and I hope we get to do it, because [Winifred] is, of course, one of my favorite characters.”

Midler noted that she hadn’t yet read the script, but that she was excited to do so. And from there, she’ll “see what happens.” Of course, it wouldn’t be Hocus Pocus without Winifred and the rest of the Sanderson Sisters. Midler did say that when she, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy get together, they always chat about doing a sequel.

For her part, Najimy was reticent to confirm any casting, but our fingers are still crossed.

"I heard about it online the same time as [everyone else]," Najimy said. "But here's the honest answer: 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."

“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,” Najimy added.

Let’s go, Disney+. Light that black flame candle and bring back the Sanderson sisters.

Update, October 24th, 9:45 a.m. EDT: Someone must have lit the black flame because the Sanderson sisters are officially coming back. Variety has confirmed that a Hocus Pocus sequel (not a reboot!) is officially in development for Disney+.

There’s not a whole lot of news on Hocus Pocus 2 just yet, but we do know that Workaholics writer-producer Jen D’Angelo will pen the script.

This isn’t the only sequel to a beloved childhood classic that Disney+ has queued up. Hilary Duff is back for a Lizzie McGuire sequel and High School Musical is getting a very meta redux, among other new shows.

Now that the news is official, we can really get started on our dream casting speculation.

Original post, October 7th: Our Halloween season just got a million times better. After years of hopeful rumors, it seems that a Hocus Pocus reboot is maybe, actually happening—and naturally, the cult-favorite film’s fanbase is fired up about who they think should play the legendary Sanderson sisters.

If you, unlike us, are not Hocus Pocus super-fans, and aren’t planning on watching all 30 of its airings on Freeform this month—and possibly making a drinking game out of it—here’s a quick refresher on the premise:

Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker portray Winnie, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson, a trio of sisters who were burned at the stake for witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. 300 years later, floppy-haired teen Max (Omri Katz) resurrects the coven after accidentally performing a Black Flame Candle spell (hey, it happens to the best of us). Max, his little sister Dani (Thora Birch), and Max’s crush Allison (Vinessa Shaw) then need to stop the sisters from sucking the life force out of all the town’s children.

And there’s supposedly a reboot in the works—that’s the most important part.

It should be noted that Disney hasn’t officially announced that a reboot is happening. But according to Screen Rant, Hocus Pocus 2 is currently in development and will be released either on Freeform or Disney+, Disney’s new streaming service. And in keeping with the current reboot trend, HP 2 will reportedly be a remake-slash-update of the original 1993 movie, not a direct sequel.

Because details are scant, there’s no news on potential casting, either. On October 7th, Instagram account PopCulture posted its thoughts on who would make great Sanderson witches—Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Maya Rudolph—which spawned some heavy debate in the comments section of the post.

Some fans are thrilled to see their favorite evil witches revamped.

Credit: @popculture / www.instagram.com
Credit: @popculture / www.instagram.com
Credit: @popculture / www.instagram.com
Credit: @popculture / www.instagram.com

But lots of Hocus Pocus purists aren’t into a reboot without the original Sanderson sisters.

Credit: @popculture / www.instagram.com
Credit: @popculture / www.instagram.com
Credit: @popculture / www.instagram.com
Credit: @popculture / www.instagram.com

Personally, we think PopCulture’s choice of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Maya Rudolph as Sarah, Winnie, and Mary would do the original cast justice. But hey, we’re more than open to hearing out other options.

We’re crossing our fingers, saying a prayer, and lighting a candle for a stacked-cast reboot in the near future.

This story originally appeared on HelloGiggles.