'Hocus Pocus 2': Thora Birch 'Dismayed' She Couldn't Return for Sequel Film

The Sanderson sisters may be flying back into Salem this Friday in Hocus Pocus 2, but they won't be seeing many familiar faces when they return from the grave 30 years after the events of the original 1993 film. As Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker grab their brooms and step back into character, Dani Dennison, one of the characters at the heart of the original Hocus Pocus, will not be there trying to fight them off, a scenario that left actress Thora Birch "dismayed."

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight just days ahead of the Friday, Sept. 30 premiere of Hocus Pocus 2, Birch again confirmed that she will not reprise her role in the new film. According to the actress, she "was working on something else when they were filming, otherwise I was definitely going to be there on set with the girls." That other project is believed to have been Netflix's Addams Family spinoff Wednesday. Birch was set to star in the series, which is set to premiere in November, as Wednesday's dorm mother at Nevermore Academy, Tamara Novak, but she ultimately ended up having to leave the project before production concluded. Of her departure, the actress said, "that became such a fluid, moving situation artistically, creatively from episode to episode. I had filmed a certain amount and there were some questions about how much more to go with that character and there were just some changes and adjustments made... it didn't work out that I would be able to go back, so they are finding their own solutions."

Although Birch will not appear in Hocus Pocus 2, she is just as excited as fans for the film. She told ET that she "can't wait to see what they do with it. I know they're taking a completely different, fresh approach, so I'm excited," adding that she is "still recovering from the 20-year anniversary of Hocus Pocus. I'm sure that this one will be even more extra."


Birch is far from the only actor from the original 1993 film not set to make an appearance in Disney's upcoming sequel. In fact, the trio of kid heroes at the center of the tale will not grace the screen, with both Omri Katz and Vinessa Shaw, who starred as Max Dennison and Allison Watts, also confirmed to not be returning. Meanwhile, Binx, the black cat who aided the trio of kids in defeating the Sanderson sisters, also will not return, as his spirit was freed at the end of Hocus Pocus and reunited with his younger sister, Emily Binx. Hocus Pocus 2 premieres on Disney+ on Friday. The 1993 film is also available for streaming on the platform.