Exclusive : Disney developing sequel to Hocus Pocus
July 6, 2012
Any fans of “Hocus Pocus”, the 1993 flick starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as three vacuum-riding witches doing battle with trick or treaters on their night of their resurrection? What about you? Yes! You! The one trying to pop the nose wart with the dislodged F5 key on his iPad console? You liked it, didn’t ya?
Actually, I remember liking it too. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it since it was a new release rental in the local video library – this is going back some fifteen years or so – but I do recall it being a fun family flick. And if I’m not mistaken, introduced me – and several other ‘What is happening to me?’ readers – to the rather foxy Vinessa Shaw (who would go on to play a much more saucier role in Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”).
Directed by choreographer cum filmmaker Kenny Ortega, the squeaky-clean family escape told of three sister witches Winnie (Midler), Mary (Najimy) and Sarah (Parker) who, after 300 years, are resurrected in Salem Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it us up to two teenagers (Shaw and Omri Katz), a young girl (a pre-”American Beauty” Thora Birch) to stop them. Silliness and special effects ensued.
So here’s what I got. While I’m not sure if Ortega is involved, Disney is quietly developing plans for a sequel to the rather popular ’90s flick. If the title suggests anything it’s that “Hocus Pocus 2 : Rise of the Elderwitch”, will feature a new cackling evildoer whose been unfortunately let loose again on suburban America.
Not surprising, I guess, that Disney would start fresh with Parker now a significantly more successful and in-demand actress than what she was when she strapped on the fake nose (oh, that wasn’t fake!?) and blonde wig to star in the original, and Bette Midler doesn’t get up to much filmwise these days. Not even sure where Kathy Najimy’s been hiding, but I do know she’s significantly thinner than she was back in 1993, so audiences likely won’t even recognize her if she was cast. In other words, not shocked to hear it’s an all-new tale, though set in the same surrounds as the first film and likely tackling similar territory. But if I may make a suggestion to the producers…. Vinessa Shaw, all grown, as the chin-wetting heroine, would work for… well, me.
“Hocus Pocus 2 : Rise of the Elderwitch” is only in the development stages at the moment, which means they’re merely tinkering with story ideas, but the plan is to have the film in front of audiences sometime next year.