The Countdown to Hocus Pocus 2 Is On—Here’s Everything We Know

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Gather round, sisters. We're giving away all the secrets about the highly anticipated premiere of Hocus Pocus 2.

Nearly 30 years after the now-classic Halloween movie Hocus Pocus premiered, the sequel is finally coming out this fall. Hocus Pocus 2 reunites Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the three Sanderson sisters—Winnie, Sarah and Mary—who were brought back to life on Halloween night in 1993, only to terrorize the residents of Salem, Massachusetts.

Hocus Pocus has become one of those classic family movies that parents and kids cue up as the spooky season kicks into high gear, and since it has cemented its cult-classic status over the past three decades, there are dozens of Hocus Pocus quotes that are now part of the pop culture lexicon. (It’s impossible to use the phrase “run amok” without conjuring up an image of Sarah Sanderson.)

While studios release plenty of witch movies during the Halloween season, the Hocus Pocus sequel is perhaps the buzziest of the year, thanks to the fact that this Disney Halloween movie reunites the beloved core cast and introduces some high-profile actors in supporting roles too. It may have taken 30 years, but we are so ready for the Sandersons to put a spell on us once more.

When will Hocus Pocus 2 premiere?

Filmed between October 2021 and January 2022, Hocus Pocus 2 is set to release exclusively on Disney+ on Sept. 30, 2022. (You can watch it here when it comes out.) Before the highly anticipated Hocus Pocus 2 release date, though, Disney+ subscribers can watch the original Hocus Pocus, which is available as part of the streamer’s regular content library. The original film is also available to rent or buy on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.

What will Hocus Pocus 2 be about?

One of the reasons Hocus Pocus has been one of the best Halloween movies for kids is because, despite the fact that it’s got plenty of witches, zombies, spells and other Halloween monsters, it plays up the cast’s goofiness, and the frights are played more for laughs than horror. And it doesn’t hurt that both Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker each get to belt out a tune in the film.

In the original, a boy named Max (Omri Katz) lights the powerful Black Flame candle, bringing the Sanderson sisters of Salem, Massachusetts, back to life. With the witches back in town—and trying to suck the life out of local children in a quest for immortality—Max joins forces with his sister, Dani (Thora Birch); his crush, Allison (Vinessa Shaw); and a cursed talking black cat named Thackery Binx (voiced by Jason Marsden) to find a way to stop them. The good guys prevail (this is a Disney movie, after all), vanquishing the Sanderson sisters once and for all.

Or so we thought. Clearly, the fix wasn’t quite so permanent if the trio is making a return in Hocus Pocus 2.

What we know about the latest flick is that two high schoolers, Becca and Izzy, light the Black Flame candle, reviving the Sanderson sisters once again. With the help of another classmate, Cassie, they have to try to cast the Sandersons out of Salem. And before you musical theater fans ask: Yes, there will be a musical number. So get ready for another amazing movie soundtrack.

Who will be in Hocus Pocus 2?

Several actors who appeared in the original are returning to Hocus Pocus 2, including Midler, Parker, Najimy and Doug Jones as Billy Butcherson, but the characters of Max, Allison and Dani will not appear in the sequel.

And while a black cat appears in the trailer, it’s not Binx. That poor kitty met the end of his nine lives in the original film. The film’s director, Anne Fletcher, has confirmed that the black cat in the new film is named Cobweb, and he does not have a speaking role like Binx did.

Sadly, Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall, who were unforgettable in their hilarious roles as the Salem residents who spent the evening with the Sandersons in the first film, have both passed away and will not appear in the Hocus Pocus sequel either.

So who are the new cast members of Hocus Pocus 2? Becca, Izzy and Cassie, the three high schoolers who conjure the witches, are played by actresses Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo and Lilia Buckingham.

In a bit of genius casting, three of our favorite contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race—Ginger Minj, Kornbread Jeté and Kahmora Hall—are set to appear in the film as drag versions of Winnie, Sarah and Mary. (With its unforgettable music performances and campy outfits, the film has provided its fair share of drag inspiration over the past 30 years.)

They’re joined by Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham in a role mysteriously named The Witch (in interviews, Waddingham has remained tight-lipped about her part), as well as Tony Hale, who will play the mayor of Salem (and father to high schooler Cassie), and Sam Richardson, who plays Gilbert, the owner of a magic shop in Salem.

If the sequel is anything like the first, arguably one of the best movies about Halloween ever made, we’re sure it will provide plenty of new Halloween quotes and Halloween memes to keep us entertained for three centuries or so.

Are there any other Hocus Pocus movies in the works?

As of now, there are no plans for any additional Hocus Pocus sequels. But considering it took nearly 30 years for this one to hit screens, only time will tell if some other unsuspecting kids will revive the Sanderson sisters once again in a sequel to the latest Disney movie.

In the meantime, you can turn up the witchy spirit in your house with a few Hocus Pocus–themed activities for the whole family, like hilarious Halloween decor, a cookbook that includes recipes for things like Burning Rain of Death Punch and Dead Man’s Toes Sausage Appetizers, and spot-on versions of Winnie, Mary and Sarah’s outfits to create the best Halloween costumes ever.

Sources:

  • Entertainment Weekly: “Meet Cobweb, the Hocus Pocus 2 cat who’s definitely not Thackery Binx”
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: “Hannah Waddingham on Emmy Nomination for Ted Lasso, Hocus Pocus Sequel & Rickrolling at a Funeral”
  • Entertainment Weekly: “Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw not returning for Hocus Pocus 2″

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Liz Kocan
Liz Kocan has over 20 years of writing and editing experience, contributing to numerous lifestyle and culture publications including USA Today, Vulture, VH1, Reader’s Digest, Decider, and SheKnows. Her interests include burritos, watching television, and serial commas.