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Disney Developing Hocus Pocus 3 After Sequel Success
The film will be the third in the Hocus Pocus series, following the streaming success of last year's Hocus Pocus 2 starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.
Just in time for the original film's 30-year anniversary, Disney is developing Hocus Pocus 3.
A third film in the beloved franchise starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as a trio of Salem witches is currently in the works, according to a New York Times interview with Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production.
The piece — published Sunday — noted that Hocus Pocus 3 is one of many projects on Bailey's future roster, which includes roughly 50 other titles in various stages of gestation. The announcement follows the major streaming success of last year's Hocus Pocus 2, which reunited the central stars 29 years after the release of director Kenny Ortega's 1993 original, and broke streaming records for the Disney+ platform upon its debut.
Representatives for Disney and the films' stars did not immediately respond to EW's request comment on Hocus Pocus 3. However, in an exclusive interview with EW for Hocus Pocus 2, Midler, Parker, and Najimy shared their thoughts on continuing the series for a third film.
"I'm envious of other actors who have franchises, and I was hoping for a sequel to First Wives Club, but we never got that. After 30 years with no sequel to Hocus Pocus, I've always been envious of people who get to do their favorite character more than once. The fact that we got to do this finally, after 30 years of promoting the idea, I'm glad we got to do it. I'd love to have a franchise — especially a character I love playing," Midler said at the time. "If there was a third one, of course I'd sign on, but I don't know how. I can't imagine what the story would be, but I love Winifred, Sarah, Mary, and our relationship. It's good for women. We stick together through hell and high water, but we do cause mayhem, and not many women cause that much mayhem!"
Added Parker: "Kathy had a good idea that the third one should be animated. That would be cool and a smart idea. It's fun, funny, and could be interesting and innovative, like old-fashioned or new [animation].... Of course I'd be happy to have a conversation [for a third film], it just depends on what Kathy and Bette want!"
Director Anne Fletcher took over to helm Hocus Pocus 2, which again resurrected Midler, Parker, and Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters, who returned to terrorize a modern-day group of teenage girls who unwittingly brought them back from the dead on Halloween, and the film ended on an ambiguous note that teased a potential continuation of the story ahead. Original star Doug Jones also returned for the sequel as the zombified Billy Butcherson, though EW exclusively confirmed that other actors from the first film — including Larry Bagby, Tobias Jelinek, Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw, and Thora Birch — would not reprise their roles in the sequel.
"Who's to say there has to be continuity in terms of the story? You can create any story. If they were to take the book and turn it into a screenplay, it doesn't have to be the witches coming back, they can just do whatever they want, and people will be stoked to see it regardless," Katz told EW in 2022, when asked about potentially returning for a third film. "The witches are 30 years older, so we've got to get this done sooner than later. We can't wait another 30 years. Sorry, it's the truth! I'm sure Bette does not want to be doing this at age 98."