Disney Whips Up New Director For ‘Hocus Pocus’ Sequel

Abracadabra! Right before your very eyes, one director disappears and another picks up the reins of the Hocus Pocus sequel.

Adam Shankman was Disney’s first choice to helm the much-anticipated sequel–as reported here in Horror News Network–but it was learned this week that Anne Fletcher (The Guilt Trip) will now sit in the director’s chair and work from a screenplay by Jen D’Angelo.

With Hocus Pocus 2 scheduled to start shooting in late summer, Shankman’s workload–he’s directing the upcoming Disenchanted–most likely is the reason he dropped the “witchy” project, as reported by movieweb.com.

Hocus Pocus 2–slated to air on Disney+–will reunite the three Sanderson Sisters–Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy–but few plot details for the sequel have been revealed at this time. However, in other casting news, Doug Jones–who played Billy Butcherson in the 1993 original–and Thora Birch–who portrayed Dani Dennison–reportedly have expressed interest in returning.

Birch said she was “excited” about the prospect. “I know a little bit about a couple of ideas for stories, but I don’t know where it’s all going to fall at the end of the day,” she said.

The original Hocus Pocus–directed by Kenny Ortega from a screenplay by Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert–followed the sorcerous Sanderson Sisters after the witches are resurrected on Halloween night in Salem, Mass. The film laid an egg at the box office–reportedly losing $16 million overall for Disney–but it has blossomed into a Halloween staple over the years.

Hocus Pocus 2 does not yet have a debut date on Disney+, so keep reading Horror News Network for all future updates on the continuing adventures of the Sandersons.

Thomas Tuna
Thomas A. Tuna is a comic book veteran who began his writing career back in the ’70s with Charlton Comics, contributing to such horror titles as Ghost Manor, Haunted, The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves and Ghostly Haunts. Most recently, he has served as a writer and editor (with more than a smattering of horror yarns) for such comic book websites as Hyper Epics and Red Moon Features. Some of his favorite horror flicks include Jaws, Salem’s Lot, Dracula (with Frank Langella) and Blade. His favorite horror comic books? Tomb of Dracula (by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan) and Swamp Thing (by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson).

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