Disney has set a director for the long-awaited Hocus Pocus sequel, Hocus Pocus 2. According to sources who spoke with Variety, Adam Shankman will direct, with Workaholics writer and co-producer Jen D'Angelo writing the script. Based on the beloved 1993 cult classic, the film is set to be released on Disney+, though it does not yet have a premiere date.
Shankman is best known for directing 2007's Hairspray, Step Up, and A Walk to Remember. With a choreographic background – he was choreographer for a number of projects, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Wedding Planner, and Catch Me If You Can – it seems plausible that film may feature a musical number in the same vein as Bette Midler's "I Put a Spell On You" in the original film.
After years of rumors that a sequel was in the works, it was confirmed in October of last year that the new streaming service was "moving forward" with the project, with Collider reporting at the time that Disney execs were hopeful the original Sanderson sister trio of Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy would return.
"Sources say that D'Angelo has been tasked with finding a way to bring back the original cast of Bette Midler as Winifred, Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah, and Kathy Najimy as Mary," the outlet wrote. "None of them are attached at the moment, but the studio is hopeful that they'll be involved with the sequel in some capacity. Since the project is still in early development at Disney's forthcoming streaming service, it remains unclear whether they'll be the main characters, or whether we'll see them pass the proverbial torch to a new generation of witches."
Further details for the upcoming project, including a plot, remain unclear.
Debuting in theaters in 1993, Hocus Pocus spun the tale of three witches who return to Salem after having been burned at the stake 300 years earlier. Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw, Sean Murray, and Doug Jones also appear in the film.
Although it was not a critical or commercial success, earning around $39 million on $28 million budget, it has since risen to cult status, amassing a large popularity with younger viewers over the years, with most attributing that resurgence to its annual airings on ABC Family (now Freeform) each Halloween season as part of its 31 Nights of Halloween programming.
The original film is currently available for streaming on Disney+. Hocus Pocus 2 does not yet have a premiere date.