The long-awaited (by some) Hocus Pocus sequel finally has a director, and it’s someone who is both familiar with Disney sequels and family-friendly comedies. Adam Shankman has taken over the followup to 1995’s cult-favorite witch comedy that starred Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Bette Midler.
Shankman’s addition to Hocus Pocus 2 assures this will be a major release for Disney+, which has quickly become home for Disney’s lighter fare. The original film centered on a trio of witches cursed since the Salem Witch trials, who are accidentally resurrected in the 20th-century. In the present, they discover Halloween is a holiday and not something to be feared. The film has become an annual favorite and demand for a sequel has been ongoing for years. Workaholics writer Jen D’Angelo is on the screenplay.
Disney knows what they’re getting in Shankman, who is currently working on Disenchanted, a sequel to Disney’s 2007 fantasy-comedy Enchanted. He’s worked with the Mouse House previously on The Pacifier and Bedtime Stories, which helped turn Vin Diesel and Adam Sandler into PG-rated stars. His string of successful films includes Hairspray, Bringing Down the House, and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
Disney hopes the original cast can be convinced to reprise their roles, as a true sequel is preferable to a fresh start. With Shankman’s musical background, an updated version of Midler’s “I Put a Spell on You” might be in order.