The news that Disney is working on a third Hocus Pocus picture is sure to please the franchise’s devoted fan base.
The company has announced that, thirty years after the first film’s debut, another installment starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker is in the works.
In an interview with The New York Times, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production President Sean Bailey verified the story. Bailey was questioned about upcoming Disney films.
This is hardly unexpected given the record-breaking opening weekend that the sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, had on Netflix last year. The movie was included at number five on the list of 2022’s most streamed films, with 5.7 billion minutes seen.
Najimy, Midler, and Parker were at the premiere of Hocus Pocus 2 together. Source: Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy
Not knowing whether Winifred, Sarah, and Mary will return for a third time on the big screen is disappointing, but knowing that terrible mayhem will continue is comforting.
The first film, directed by Kenny Ortega in 1993, and the sequel, directed by Anne Fletcher last year, both had the great trio of witches draining the life energy out of children in an attempt to remain youthful, and the third picture would follow in these footsteps.
After adolescent Becca (Whitney Peak) was included in the sequel, executive producer Adam Shankman hinted to The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere last year that further follow-up storylines would be presented.
Shankman noted that the director “handled that [storyline] really, really beautifully,” and added, “We went back and forth on how that was going to work if it was going to work, forever, and Anne was just like, ‘This is what we’re going to do.'” I too think it’s fantastic. And it generates a great deal of interest in possible offshoots.
Sam Richardson, Adam Shankman, and Lynn Harris in addition to leads Sean Bailey and Anne Fletcher. Image courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty
In addition, Midler said last year in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that she would be open to returning to her role, adding, “I’d love to have a franchise – especially a character I love playing.” Of course I’d join if there was a third option, but I’m at a loss as to how to make that happen.
I have no idea what the plot would be, but my friends Winifred, Sarah, and Mary and I are the best. Beneficial to females. We stay together through thick and thin, but we do wreck havoc, and there aren’t too many ladies who can say the same.
Parker elaborated on her vision for the third film by saying, “Kathy had a fantastic notion that the next one should be animated. That’s a very neat and astute suggestion.
Fun, humorous, and potentially intriguing and novel, like classic or contemporary [animation]… She said, “It all depends on what Kathy and Bette want, but I’d be happy to have a conversation about a third film.”