Salem’s Sanderson Sisters—Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimi—are back this Halloween in “Hocus Pocus 2” on Disney+. The streamer just launched the first teaser, which shows how two teen girls (Whitney Peak and Lilia Buckingham) resurrect the charmed triumvirate with some incantations and candles probably not purchased at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
The 1993 original, directed by Kenny Ortega and written by Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert, is a cult film in the truest sense of the word, and not just because of its occultist themes. The campy-spooky witch picture didn’t connect with critics at the time, and was a box office dud. (Some of that may have just been poor timing: it was up against Free Willy and a still rampaging Jurassic Park, both wildly successful family-friendly films.)
But the movie, which began its life as a story producer David Kirschner dreamed up as a bedtime story for his kids, eventually found its audience. Like the witches themselves, it had an afterlife, with repeat airings on ABC Family and the Disney Channel.
And now, with‘90s kids having kids of their own, and with our three leads game to get back into costume, we’ve got a up-to-date sequel from director Anne Fletcher and screenwriter Jen D’Angelo.
The teaser doesn’t show us much (it’s a teaser!) but digging around reveals that Hollywood’s go-to plastic man Doug Jones is also in the cast (as a zombie), as is “Ted Lasso” Emmy winner Hannah Waddingham, “Veep” and “Werewolves Within” star Sam Richardson, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” celebs Ginger Minj, Kornbread Jeté, and Kahmora Hall, who apparently do drag impersonations of the three Sanderson Sisters.
Reactions online were good for a mid-summer Tuesday morning. Whether fans will run amuck at the actual release remains to be seen.
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