It doesn’t matter if you happen to be a preteen or a 30-year-old, there is always that one special film that you just can’t seem to get enough of when the Halloween season rolls in. That movie is none other than Hocus Pocus.
In 1993, the world was introduced to a trio of murderous and singing witches. The Sanderson sisters in Kenny Ortega‘s Hocus Pocus were iconic. Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker respectively, rose to earn cult status. Each year, these villainous witches manage to gather both the old and new generation of fans during autumnal screenings of the show on Disney and Freeform.
Like every childhood gem that you know and love, Hocus Pocus is getting its Disney repolishing. Now before you get excited over seeing Midler singing “I Put a Spell on You” all over again, the LA Times has confirmed that neither Midler, Parker, Najimy, nor Kenny Ortega are going to return.
Disney Announces ‘Hocus Pocus’ Remake Without the Original Cast
The original Hocus Pocus movie told the story of three evil witches from the 1600s who sucked the souls out of children so they could become immortal. The villagers of Salem, Massachusetts, eventually banded together to capture the sisters and bring their reign of terror to an end. Before they died, the Sanderson sisters cast one last curse on the village along with a warning that they would come back one day. Fast forward to 1993, a young virgin teen accidentally lights the wrong candle, opening the doors for the witches’ comeback, and they once again wreak havoc.
Hocus Pocus was neither a critical nor a commercial success upon its initial release, but it managed to become a cult favorite due to annual airings on Disney and Freeform.
Rumors of a reboot and a possible sequel have been around longer than the years the Sanderson sisters were put to sleep. As for why it’s taking such a long time, Midler once joked that Disney could be having “trouble finding a virgin.” Smart remarks aside, the film’s original screenplay writer Mick Garris did give a hint during an interview with Forbes that Disney Channel were planning on a remake.
Sure enough, Disney Channel finally put the rumors to rest by confirming the Hocus Pocus remake this week. The reboot is currently being written by Scarlett Lacey (The Royals) with David Kirschner, producer of the original film, serving as executive producer.
Internet divided on Hocus Pocus remake
Naturally, the Internet had a lot to say about the Hocus Pocus remake. While some couldn’t help but get excited over the news, a majority were on the fence about a new cast, especially considering the number of times the original trio confirmed that they would love to reprise their roles.
In fact, Parker said in 2016 that all the actresses were “fairly vocal about being very keen.” Though Disney has yet to make any statement, the decision to recast could be due to budget constrictions. Midler, Najimy, and Parker have all become successful actresses in their own right, and asking them to return would call for higher salaries.
It is too early to make any conclusions about the upcoming Hocus Pocus remake, but it is definitely hard to imagine the film without the original Sanderson sisters.