In the new film, out Friday on Disney+, Winifred, Sarah and Mary Sanderson, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, respectively, return after they are accidentally brought back on Halloween when the Black Flame Candle is lit.
The iconic trio of witches are looking for revenge, but it’s up to three high school students to stop them from wreaking havoc on Salem.
In addition to the original cast of witches and Doug Jones, who played zombie Billy Butcherson in the first “Hocus Pocus” film, new cast members of the upcoming film include Whitney Peak from “Gossip Girl” and Belissa Escobedo from “American Horror Stories.”
“We loved the original cast from the first movie 100 percent, and now we’re bringing in new teenagers to kind of mess with Winnie a little bit and a lot of other packed goodies in there,” director Anne Fletcher shared in a recent interview with “Good Morning America" about the film.
Answering fans’ prayers about a sequel
Over the years, “Hocus Pocus 2” has garnered a fanbase like no other. Fans have channeled the Sanderson sisters with Halloween costumes, obsessed over iconic lines from the original and even made it an annual tradition to tune in to the classic film for Halloween.
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Now with “Hocus Pocus 2,” many who first watched the film 29 years ago as kids are now also sharing the experience with their own children.
“Fans have been screaming from the hilltops,” Fletcher said. “Like, please, we want more time with the witches, please give us a sequel, please! So they have been at the forefront driving this forever.”
Fletcher added that coming into the project for the sequel was a “big decision” to make. “I had to decide like, would I be able to do this movie justice? Would I be able to do it well enough that the fans are satisfied and happy? Because that’s a tall order,” she said.
What to expect in the new film
A big part of the sequel is learning more about the Sanderson sisters’ origin story.
“I was excited about -- besides fans getting to be with their beloved characters -- was the origin story of our witches,” Fletcher said. “That was the one thing that I loved the most, actually -- really get to understand why the Sanderson sisters are who they are and how they became to be.”
Part of the new cast includes actress Hannah Waddingham, who plays the Witch Mother, which fans can speculate is a part of the Sanderson sisters’ story.
Fletcher remained tight-lipped about other surprises in the film, including whether Midler, SJP and Najimy will take the stage again as they did in the first film with their rendition of “I’ve Put a Spell on You."
But she wanted viewers to watch for many Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the film.
Sisterhood is at the center of the sequel
While “Hocus Pocus 2” is expected to be a fun film to watch with friends and family, Fletcher said she hopes viewers see that the movie is ultimately about sisterhood.
“It’s about friendship,” she said. “It’s about having each other’s back. It’s about even when you have a fight or confusion, or you’re not speaking, to make sure you connect and communicate and stick with each other and have each other’s back.”
“That is true friendship and that’s true sisterhood,” she added.
You can stream the first "Hocus Pocus" film on Disney+. A subscription to Disney+ costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year, and a bundle consisting of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ costs $13.99 per month.
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