As the original Halloween- favourite movie, Hocus Pocus, approaches its 30th anniversary, Disney is developing its third instalment.
In a profile with The New York Times, Walt Disney Pictures president Sean Bailey has confirmed that a film of the beloved franchise, starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, is in the works.
Hocus Pocus was first released in 1993, directed by Kenny Ortega from a screenplay by Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert and a story by David Kirschner and Garris.
The film follows a trio of witches who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage boy on Halloween night.
A sequel to the original, Hocus Pocus 2, was released in 2022 with the trio of stars reprising their roles as the Sanderson sisters. The follow-up film was directed by Anne Fletcher, with a screenplay by Jen D’Angelo and a story by Kirschner, Blake Harris and D’Angelo.
While the three leads returned, some members of the original cast could not appear. D’Angelo hinted at a potential sequel that would showcase Omri Katz’s Max Dennison and Vinessa Shaw’s Allison Watts.
“We tried so hard to get the original cast back for cameos and then it just kept not working out for one reason or the other,” D’Angelo told Variety. “But I’m hoping in Hocus Pocus 3, we’ll see Max and Alison living in California.”
While promoting the sequel, Midler talked about the possibility of a third film. “I don’t know. I’m envious of other actors who have franchises, and I was hoping for a sequel to First Wives Club, but we never got that,” she told Entertainment Weekly last year.
“After 30 years with no sequel to Hocus Pocus, I’ve always been envious of people who get to do their favourite character more than once. The fact that we got to do this finally, after 30 years of promoting the idea, I’m glad we got to do it. I’d love to have a franchise — especially a character I love playing.”
Midler continued, “If there was a third one, of course I’d sign on, but I don’t know how. I can’t imagine what the story would be, but I love Winifred, Sarah, Mary, and our relationship. It’s good for women. We stick together through hell and high water, but we do cause mayhem, and not many women cause that much mayhem!”
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