The American fantasy comedy Halloween-themed film Hocus Pocus 2 was written by Jen D’Angelo, was directed by Anne Fletcher, and was made by Walt Disney Pictures. As a sequel to the 1993 movie Hocus Pocus, it stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Doug Jones reprising their roles. In the new movie, there are Sam Richardson, Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Tony Hale, and Hannah Waddingham joining the cast in new roles.
Rhode Island replaced Salem, Massachusetts as the location for filming from October 2021 until January 2022. On September 30, 2022, it was made available on Disney+. The cast performances, humor, and nostalgia earned positive reviews, but the plot received negative ones.
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Young Winifred Sanderson was expelled from Salem in 1653 by Reverend Traske after she disobeyed church law by refusing to wed John Pritchett. Winifred flees with her sisters Mary and Sarah to a nearby forbidden forest rather than allow them to be taken away from her.
There, they meet Mother Witch, who gives Winifred her magic book for her sixteenth birthday but expressly forbids the sisters from performing the Magicae Maxima, a spell that grants the user unlimited power. In order to maintain their youth, Mother Witch also trains the sisters to murder other kids.
Becca and Izzy, two Salem teenagers, are getting ready to celebrate Halloween and Becca’s sixteenth birthday in 2022, twenty-nine years after the Sanderson sisters were brought back to life by the Black Flame Candle. However, they decline an invitation to a party from their estranged friend Cassie Traske.
Gilbert, who used to own the Sanderson cottage, welcomes Becca and Izzy to his magic shop and gives her a candle for their customary birthday celebration. Once the candle is lit, Becca and Izzy realize it is another Black Flame Candle. The candle brings the Sanderson sisters back to life once more because there is a full moon and they are both virgins.
The girls successfully outwit the sisters in a nearby Walgreens, and after escaping, they find Gilbert had duped them into reviving the sisters after seeing them on Halloween in 1993 and having Book teach them how to make the candle.
When the sisters get up to the girls, they discover a campaign flyer for Mayor Traske, Cassie’s father and the son of Reverend Traske. In order to get rid of Traske and exact retribution on Salem, Winifred determines they will cast the Magicae Maxima spell. The sisters capture Izzy and Becca in the cellar and then go looking for Traske since his blood is required to finish the spell. Gilbert is coerced into gathering the additional components.
While the sisters find their way to the town’s Halloween carnival and charm the locals to assist them in finding the mayor, the girls escape and proceed to the Traske mansion to alert the mayor. While everything is going on, Gilbert unearths Billy Butcherson, who has been alive but buried since 1993. Gilbert fools Billy into helping him gather the remaining components before using his head, which he requires for the ritual.
Before Mayor Traske gets home, the girls meet up with Cassie and successfully catch the sisters in a salt circle in Cassie’s garage. The three adolescents reconcile, but their reunion is cut short when the sisters break out of the circle and abduct Cassie so they can take her blood instead. Following them to the location where Gilbert has gathered the materials, Becca and Izzy quickly learn that Becca is also a witch.
As their strength grows, the sisters partially perform the spell, but Becca diverts their attention so that Izzy can save Cassie. Book is persuaded by Becca that it is not required to answer to Winifred, and the two flee deeper into the forest. They see a warning in the book concerning the Magicae Maxima spell, which states that the person who casts it must sacrifice their most prized possessions.
The girls consent to inform Winifred of the cost of the spell, but it’s too late: Winifred gains invincibility while Mary and Sarah vanish into thin air. As Winifred loses hope, she pleads with the teenagers to utilize their newly discovered abilities to save her sisters.
Winifred joyfully fades away to be reunited with her sisters after Becca, Cassie, and Izzy work together in a coven to cast a reuniting ritual even if they are unable to save the two.
Gilbert and Billy join the girls as Billy begins to fade. Billy is relieved to be on his way to his eternal slumber and realizes that all of Winifred’s spells have been broken. Like the Sanderson sisters, the girls decide to give Book a new home and carry on practicing their magic as they disappear into the night. A crow that resembles the one Mother Witch had transformed into soars overhead as they go.
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How Did It Produce?
The Walt Disney Company revealed in July 2014 that Tina Fey would be starring in and producing a supernatural-themed movie about witches. Deadline Hollywood, however, dispelled speculations that the movie was a continuation of Hocus Pocus. In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” in November 2014, Bette Midler stated that she would be open to reprising her role as Winifred Sanderson in a sequel.
She added that co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy were also interested in playing Sarah and Mary Sanderson again but emphasized that Disney had not yet approved any sequels, urging original moviegoers to push the studio to produce one. In a Facebook Q&A in November 2015, Midler responded to a question about a sequel by saying, “After all these years and all the fan demand, I do believe I can stand and firmly answer an unambiguous no.”
Actor Doug Jones revealed in June 2016 that there had been negotiations going on behind the scenes to maybe continue the series, and that Disney had been thinking about a sequel.
When Sarah Jessica Parker was promoting her HBO program Divorce in October 2016, Andy Cohen questioned her about a potential sequel. Her answer was “I would love that. I think we have been very vocal that we are very keen,” yet she maintained that supporters should push Disney to create a sequel. Author Aaron Wallace lists a number of sequel ideas in his book Hocus Pocus in Focus: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Disney’s Halloween Classic, but he also points out that the Walt Disney Studios’ preference for blockbuster films with very high box office potential will be the project’s biggest obstacle.
After years of rumors and conjecture, Hocus Pocus writer Mick Garris finally acknowledged in September 2017 that he was writing a script for a sequel and that it might end up being a television movie for Disney Channel, Freeform, or ABC. Later, it was revealed that it would be a remake that would run on Freeform, with The Royals writer Scarlett Lacey attached to pen the script and original movie producer David Kirschner serving as executive producer. Original director Kenny Ortega was not anticipated to be involved.
The following month, Midler expressed skepticism about how they would be able to successfully replace her character as Winifred Sanderson and declared she would not be participating in the remake regardless of whether she was offered a role or not.
In February 2018, Jones confirmed that there had been discussions about making a sequel 20 years after the first film, and that he had been invited to be a part of it. Despite this, he admitted that he was still interested in playing Billy Butcherson in the sequel.
A book called Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel, which includes a novelization of the movie and a sequel narrative, was published in July 2018. In the follow-up, Max and Allison’s daughter Poppy, who grew up hearing the family saga from the first movie, and their parents, who try to avoid Halloween as much as possible, are the main characters. Twenty-five years after the release of the film, on Halloween, Poppy, who is suspicious of the narrative, visits the Sanderson home to try to disprove its veracity.
A sequel with a screenplay written by Jen D’Angelo was said to be in development as a Disney+ exclusive movie in October 2019. Adam Shankman agreed to direct Hocus Pocus 2 in March 2020 in addition to his work on the Enchanted sequel Disenchanted.
About The Casting Of The Film.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy have indicated interest in playing the Sanderson sisters again in the follow-up on November 1, 2019. Midler first disclosed that she had begun negotiations to reprise her role as Winifred in the movie in September 2020. In October 2020, she confirmed that she would be returning, along with Parker and Najimy, though their reappearances were not formally announced until May 2021.
Taylor Paige Henderson was said to have been chosen for one of the three roles in October 2021. Sam Richardson was reportedly in final talks to join the cast in an unspecified role shortly after that. In the same month, Tony Hale, who plays Jefry Traske, the mayor of Salem, joined the cast. On October 31, 2021, the entire supporting cast was officially announced, including Hannah Waddingham and Doug Jones, who reprised his role as William “Billy” Butcherson from the first movie.
It was revealed in March 2022 that Thora Birch will not be playing Dani Dennison from the last movie. Later, Birch admitted she would have been in the movie but couldn’t because of a schedule issue. Then, in the summer of the same year, it was revealed that Vinessa Shaw, Larry Bagby, Sean Murray, Tobias Jelinek, Omri Katz, and Omri Katz would not be returning to their respective roles as Allison, Ice, Thackery Binx, Jay, and Max.
Along with Najimy and Jessica Parker, Midler said on October 29, 2020, that a story concept for the follow-up has been completed and complimented it as “quite excellent.” On November 3, Midler disclosed that the producers are attempting to re-hire a number of the original movie’s production team members who are still alive and haven’t retired because they believe the success of the first movie was much influenced by the efforts of the team who worked behind the scenes. Due to his directing responsibilities on Disenchanted, Anne Fletcher took over as director of the movie in April 2021, replacing Shankman as an executive producer.
Beginning in Salem, Massachusetts, in the middle of 2021, production was slated to get underway. Sets for Hocus Pocus 2 were confirmed to be constructed at Washington Square in Newport, Rhode Island, and Chase Farms in Lincoln, Rhode Island, in September 2021. On October 18, 2021, in Providence, Rhode Island, filming on the untitled project Black Flame began.
A video leak occurred on November 2, 2021. Additionally, on November 8, 2021, Newport’s Washington Square was used for filming to depict a contemporary Salem, Massachusetts. Filming in Federal Hill, which had been transformed with a setting inspired by Halloween, started on December 10, 2021. Midler announced on social media on January 26, 2022, that filming was finished.
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