October 3, 2023

Disney develops Hocus Pocus 3 after sequel success

Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the original film, Disney is moving forward Hocus Pocus 3.

A third film in the beloved franchise starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as a trio of Salem witches is currently in the works, according to a New York Times interview with Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production.

The piece — published Sunday — noted that Hocus Pocus 3 is one of many projects on Bailey’s future roster, which includes about 50 other titles in various stages of gestation. The announcement follows last year’s huge streaming success Hocus Pocus 2which reunited the protagonists 29 years after the release of director Kenny Ortega’s 1993 original and broke streaming records for the Disney+ platform upon its debut.

Hocus Pocus 2

Hocus Pocus 2

Disney+ The Sanderson Sisters return in ‘Hocus Pocus 2.’

Representatives for Disney and the films’ stars did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment Hocus Pocus 3. However, in an exclusive interview with EW for Hocus Pocus 2Midler, Parker and Najimy shared their thoughts on continuing the series for a third film.

“I envy other actors who have franchises, and I was hoping for a sequel to First Wives Club, but we never got that. After 30 years with no sequel to Hocus Pocus, I’ve always envied people who get to play their favorite character more than once. The fact that we finally got to do this, after 30 years of promoting the idea, I’m glad we were able to do it. I’d love to have a franchise — especially a character I enjoy playing,” Midler said at the time. “If there was a third, I would of course sign up, 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 tide, but we cause chaos, and not many women cause that much chaos!”

parker added: Kathy had a good idea that the third should be animated. That would be cool and a smart idea. It’s fun, funny, and can be interesting and innovative, like old-fashioned or new [animation]…. Of course I like to talk [for a third film]it just depends on what Kathy and Bette want!”

Hocus Pocus 2, Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus 2, Hocus Pocus

Disney+ Original ‘Hocus Pocus’ actors share their thoughts on Disney’s ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ sequel.

Director Anne Fletcher took over Hocus Pocus 2, which again resurrected Midler, Parker, and Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters, who returned to terrorize a modern-day group of teenage girls who had unwittingly brought them back from the dead on Halloween, and the film ended on an ambiguous note that hinted at a potential continuation of the story before us. Original star Doug Jones also returned for the sequel as the zombified Billy Butcherson, though EW exclusively confirmed that other actors from the first film — including Larry Bagby, Tobias Jelinek, Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw, and Thora Birch — reprise their roles in the sequel.

“Who says there has to be continuity in terms of the story? You can make any story. If they took the book and made it into a screenplay, it doesn’t have to be the witches coming back, they can just do what they want, and people will be excited to see it anyway,” Katz told EW in 2022, when asked if he might return for a third film. “The witches are 30 years older, so we need to get this done ASAP. We can’t wait another 30 years. Sorry, it’s the truth! I’m sure Bette wouldn’t want to do this at her age.” 98.”

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