'Hocus Pocus 2' gets release date as Disney shares 1st footage, reports say
LOS ANGELES - Come, we fly! "Hocus Pocus 2" has gotten an official release date on Disney+ and the first footage from the highly-anticipated sequel was shared this week.
Disney announced Tuesday that the new incarnation of the Halloween cult classic will be released on Sept. 30, 2022, on its streaming platform, according to Entertainment Weekly and other outlets. The premiere date was shared during the studio’s upfronts presentation.
The original 1993 comedy-fantasy film, which stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, is about three villainous witches from the 17th century who are accidentally resurrected by a teenage boy in Salem, Massachusetts.
"Hocus Pocus" was not particularly successful in its original theatrical run, but has since found a cult following, particularly during the Halloween season.
Kathy Nahimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker are pictured in the 1993 Disney production "Hocus Pocus." (Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures)
Back in 2020, it was announced that a "Hocus Pocus" remake was in the works, and Disney also revealed the production would be bringing back some main cast, including Midler, Parker and Najimy as the evil Sanderson Sisters. In May 2021, Disney said the sequel would drop in the "fall 2022" and production began last November.
"It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters who were executed for practicing witchcraft, and they are looking for revenge," a synopsis for the new film reads. "Now it is up to three high-school students to figure out how to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before midnight on All Hallow’s Eve."
During Disney’s upfronts presentation, rough-cut footage of "Hocus Pocus 2" was shared with the audience, according to Entertainment Weekly. It showed two young girls lighting the Black Flame Candle, which summons the witches as Midler screams, "Lock up your children! Yes, Salem, we're back!"
The sisters then launch into a song, a cover of Elton John's "The B**** Is Back," while Billy Butcherson, played by Doug Jones, and an unnamed character played by Sam Richardson appear, according to the outlet. Tony Hale, who plays the mayor of Salem, was also featured in the teaser.
Disney+ did not immediately respond to FOX Television Stations’ request for comment.
"I am beyond thrilled to be involved in the sequel to a film that is as beloved as ‘Hocus Pocus,’" director Anne Fletcher said in a statement last fall, noting how fans worldwide have "embraced these characters and have made this film a Halloween tradition whose popularity continues to grow."
"Hocus Pocus 2" was written by Jen D’Angelo, who served as a writer and co-producer on the Comedy Central series "Workaholics," among other projects. It was produced by Lynn Harris ("King Richard," "The Shallows"), with Adam Shankman ("Disenchanted," "Hairspray"), Ralph Winter ("Hocus Pocus," "X-Men" franchise) and David Kirschner ("Hocus Pocus," "Chucky") serving as executive producers.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.