It’s hard to believe, but it has been nearly 30 years since fans were introduced to the wickedly funny Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson — played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie Hocus Pocus. The Sanderson sisters came back from the dead and needed to suck the lives out of the children of Salem in order to live forever. This, of course, happens on Halloween, but their plans are foiled when Max Dennison, his sister Dani, and his friend, Allison, fight back and try to destroy the sisters once and for all.
The highly anticipated Hocus Pocus 2 will premiere on Disney+ on September 30, and will see Midler, Najimy, and Parker return to their original Sanderson sister roles. Doug Jones will also return and reprise his role as Billy Butcherson. They are the only original actors returning to the film. Thora Birch — who played Dani Dennison was originally supposed to have a role in the sequel, but that had to be scrapped when scheduling conflicts made it impossible for Birch to commit to the role.
Hocus Pocus 2 director Anne Fletcher also confirmed that Omri Katz — who played Max — and Vinessa Shaw — who played Allison — would not be in the sequel, as the filmmakers did not think they could fit them into the story, while at the same time, bringing something new to the table. While Shaw has not commented on being left out of the sequel, Katz has finally spoken up.
Through his representative, Katz released a statement to Entertainment Weekly. The actor said that, while he would have loved to be in the new movie, he holds no ill will towards anyone working on the new film. He also encouraged all fans to watch Hocus Pocus 2 when it premieres on Disney+. Per Entertainment Weekly:
“People have been asking, and unfortunately, I’m not in it. I would have loved to be involved,” Katz tells EW exclusively through his representative, Nery Lemus. “I feel bad for the original fan base saying we aren’t because I’m sure they wanted to see us reprise our roles.”“I think it’ll be good for everyone who loved the original!” the 46-year-old finishes. “I hope fans will go see it. I know I will.”
Hocus Pocus 2 will not only tell the story of three teenage girls who accidentally bring the Sanderson sisters back from the dead once again, but will also show viewers the lives of Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson as they grew up as children in Salem in the 1600s.
In addition to Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Doug Jones, Hocus Pocus 2 will also star Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham, Hannah Waddington, Tony Hale, and Sam Richardson.