Hocus Pocus 2 producer Adam Shankman reveals how stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker reacted to their Sanderson sisters return.
The Hocus Pocus 2 Sanderson sisters actors were delighted to reunite for the film. The first Hocus Pocus film came out in 1993, proving to be a sleeper hit that eventually transformed into a Halloween cult-classic for years to come. The hysterical, hokey horror-comedy centered on a trio of whimsical witches known as the Sanderson sisters, played by Bette Midler (Winifred), Kathy Najimy (Mary), and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah), as they are inadvertently resurrected by a boy named Max. Once free, all hell breaks loose as the Sisters return to Salem, Massachusetts in search of a way to return to life permanently. But, ultimately, Max and his friends are able to overpower them, disintegrating the sisters by bringing them out into the daylight. Rumors of a sequel have been circulating for over a decade, but Hocus Pocus 2 was only greenlit by Disney in 2020.
Recently, the first Hocus Pocus 2 trailer was unveiled, which confirmed the sequel’s Disney+ premiere in September 2022. The video showed the Sanderson sisters being conjured back to life 29 years after the events of the original movie. Three high-school students accidentally reawaken them by lighting the Black Flame Candle in their cottage during a ritual, unleashing the trio as they seek to reclaim their town. The trailer fueled anticipation among fans, who were thrilled to see the Sandersons’ iconic look being brilliantly recreated and the sequel’s seeming faithfulness to the quirky, spooky tone of the original.
Now, in a conservation with People, Hocus Pocus 2 executive producer Adam Shankman explains how Midler, Najimy, and Parker reacted to reuniting on the sets of the sequel. As he notes, the Sanderson sisters stars were ecstatic about their return, and they got right down into their business, with rapport as amiable as ever. Read what the EP says below:
[It was] like a snap back in time, as if time had not [passed]. They were just laughing, laughing, laughing. […] It was easy. Kathy, Sarah and Bette have known each other since they made the movie… so [there] was nothing but giddiness. I think there was a little bit of, like, ‘Wow, are we really doing this again?’
Part of what made Hocus Pocus 2 happen was the friendship between Midler, Najimy, and Parker, and their collective efforts in getting fans to persuade Disney to make a sequel. From the get-go, the Sanderson sisters stars have shared an admirable camaraderie, and their chemistry came into particular focus when the three reviewed the Hocus Pocus 2 trailer together. The actors have maintained their relationship since the first movie, and that’s why they gelled well together on the sequel, thoroughly enjoying themselves and cherishing their long-awaited reunion.
There is no doubt the Sanderson sisters’ return has received much fanfare, and their incredible dynamic does partly take the sting out of the absence of a few other original Hocus Pocus stars, including Jason Marsden (Thackery Binx) and Thora Birch (Dani). The actors’ exhilaration at their reunion bodes well for the movie, as their casual bond surely will play into their performances as well. The previous Hocus Pocus 2 images and clips showed how seamlessly the stars slipped back into their characters, which should make their return a spirited, surreal affair when the movie hits Disney+.
- Hocus Pocus 2Release date: Sep 30, 2022
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