Bette Midler on the Sequel and Hocus Pocus Phenomenon

It’s been 29 years since we saw the Sanderson Sisters wreaking havoc in Salem when Hocus Pocus was released in theaters. It would seem that their plan of terrorizing kids is over since they were stopped by a bunch of kids. Fast forward to 2022, and that’s all about to change. Bette Midler, Kathy Jajimy and Sarah Jessica Parker reprise their roles as the Sanderson Sisters, and they are still intent on wreaking havoc in the sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, which is now available on Disney+.

The original film is now a huge hit during the Halloween season, but it didn’t start off that way. The fanbase wasn’t there during the film’s theatrical release, and it was even panned by critics. But that all changed with the community growing and the sequel finally upon us.

“And then I realized, oh, we’re really gonna do this,” Bette Midler, who plays Winifred Sanderson, said during the film’s press conference held on September 28th. “This was kind of a dream come true, it really was. After I realized it was actually a phenomenon, I started asking people around my age and people like that, ‘Don’t you think they would be interested in a sequel?’ This was a long time ago. This was like 15 years ago, something like that. So here we are.”

The actors in the film never thought Hocus Pocus would become a classic film. With films, they would usually move on to the next project without a second thought.

“I don’t think that anyone could ever decide that ahead of time or else everybody would make that kind of movie,” Kathy Majimy, who plays Mary Sanderson, said of the film being a classic. “I think you just make films and you go on to the next one. And however the audience receives it is always a surprise. So I think there was something in this film, I think, like Wizard of Oz-ish, where the generation shows it to their kids and shows it to their kids and shows it to their kids.”

With a sequel to the cherished film, it’s an uphill battle in trying to please the fans while also bringing something new to the table. Director Anne Fletcher is responsible for bringing a new story to audiences.

“Well, the mission, in general, is the story and honoring the first movie and carrying into the sequel and making sure that I’m honoring these characters for the fans and bringing it into a new generation,” Fletcher said. “The musical numbers are there for story. As I like to say, I didn’t feel like I could compete with ‘I Put a Spell on You’ which Bette and Marc Shaiman wrote. And I mean, there was an original song. You guys did the arrangement and the lyrics. Can’t compete with that. So I didn’t try. So we stayed really focused on trying to stay more towards the story. And we just had so many fun options of songs to choose from. And that’s where we landed. And who doesn’t want to see Bette Midler sing?”

About Hocus Pocus 2

It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve. Hocus Pocus 2 also stars Sam Richardson (Ted Lasso), Doug Jones (Hellboy), Whitney Peak (Gossip Girl), Belissa Escobedo (American Horror Stories), Lilia Buckingham (Dirt), Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf), with Tony Hale (Veep) and Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso).

The film is directed by Anne Fletcher (Dumplin’, The Proposal) from a screenplay by Jen D’Angelo (Workaholics) and a story by David Kirschner (Hocus Pocus, Chucky) & Blake Harris and Jen D’Angelo, produced by Lynn Harris (King Richard, The Shallows), with Ralph Winter (Hocus Pocus, X-Men franchise), David Kirschner and Adam Shankman (Disenchanted, Hairspray) serving as executive producers.

Hocus Pocus 2 is streaming exclusively on Disney+ starting September 30, 2022.

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