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10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Hocus Pocus 2

It isn’t long until Hocus Pocus 2, the legacy sequel to the almost 30-year-old Hocus Pocus, will be released on September 30, with all three original Sanderson sisters will be returning. There’s so much hype surrounding the movie given that the original film has become a cult classic, and there hasn’t been a classic spooky Halloween comedy in years.


But as a potential sequel has been talked about for almost 30 years, it’s no surprise that Hocus Pocus 2 comes with a ton of behind-the-scenes stories. Between directors getting replaced and the original actors not getting callbacks, a lot of drama surrounded the making of Hocus Pocus 2. But it ultimately equates to being one of Disney’s biggest success stories ever.

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A Remake Of Hocus Pocus Was Considered Instead Of A Sequel

When it comes to ’80s and ’90s properties, so many of them have gotten remakes (whether it’s Ghostbusters or Total Recall) and Hocus Pocus came close to getting a remake too. While a Hocus Pocus remake has inspired some great fan-casting, it’s likely that many fans would have, undoubtedly, been enraged fans given how iconic the three main actors are as the witches.

Original director Kenny Ortega discussed the remake, but he even admitted that a sequel would have been much better, commenting, “I think it would be much more fun to bring the ladies back. They’re all still vital and in their prime and capable of doing so much that it would be great to see Bette and Kathy and Sarah come back together.”

Hocus Pocus Was Shot In Rhode Island Instead Of Salem

Only a select set of films are so tied to the location that it’s almost like a character itself, and in the case of Hocus Pocus, Salem was just as much of a main character as the actual witches. However, while the sequel does take place in Salem, it was actually shot in Rhode Island, doubling for the spooky historical town.

Locations often double as other places on movie sets for a number of reasons (whether it’s because of tax reasons or because it’s more logical). Based on several TikTok videos, however, it does look very authentic and original.

Adam Shankman Was The Original Director For Hocus Pocus 2

Directing a number of successful romantic comedies, including The Proposal and 27 Dresses, many fans are excited to see what Anne Fletcher has in store for the sequel. Given that she has choreographed dozens of dance sequences in the past 30 years, many fans are hoping that she will make several just as many iconic numbers that everyone can later take part in.

However, some fans might not be aware that she wasn’t the original director who was hired to make the movie. According to reports, Adam Shankman was originally attached as director, and like Fletcher, he would have been a great choice for the film, as he had already directed several comedy musicals including Hairspray and Rock of Ages. But, as he was also attached to the other upcoming Disney sequel Disenchanted, his schedule was a little too full.

Sam Richardson Thought The Experience On Hocus Pocus 2 Was Surreal

While the big appeal of the sequel is the return of the witch sisters, a slew of new actors have joined the cast too, and one of the most exciting actors to join the sequel is Sam Richardson. The actor admitted that he’s a huge fan of the original movie, and he gushed about working with the three main members of the cast, calling the experience “surreal.”

Richardson commented, “Being in [the sequel] is so surreal and incredible. To work with the ladies is so… I don’t want to use the word surreal again but I’m outside of myself when I’m doing these scenes.” It isn’t clear who Richardson will be playing, as his role is still undisclosed, but he’s an incredible comedy actor, so he’ll undoubtedly perfectly fit into Hocus Pocus 2.

Bette Midler Celebrated Her 76th Birthday On The Hocus Pocus 2 Set With A Song

Back in December 2021, Bette Midler was seen to celebrate her 76th birthday in style on the set of Hocus Pocus 2.

Celebrating in a theatrical and excitable way, it was revealed in an Instagram post that Midler and the rest of the cast were singing and dancing on the movie set (and it looked like there had never been a more fun movie set in the history of cinema). As there are tons of songs fans want the Sanderson sisters to sing, the behind-the-scenes footage of Midler doing her thing only increases that hype and fan excitement.

Anne Fletcher Has Improved On The Special Effects In Hocus Pocus 2 (Especially The Flying)

The witches’ main mode of transportation is obviously their trusty broomsticks, and it isn’t much of a secret about how it was shot in the original film, as it wasn’t exactly the gold standard of special effects. However, Fletcher went to much greater lengths for the sequel to make the flying less botched and more believable.

That meant covering an entire truck with a blue screen. The top of the front of the truck features poles in place as broomsticks and three seats that were reserved for Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimi. It’s almost like a theme park ride, as the truck was to be driven at a controlled speed with the actors sitting at the top.

Kathy Najimi Improvised Jokes On Set Of Hocus Pocus 2

Kathy Najimi has been Known for being a stand-up comedian since the 1980s, it’s not surprising that many believe Kathy Najimi’s Mary is the funniest character out of the three Sanderson sisters.

Just as she probably did on the set of the original film, Najimi improvised jokes while filming the sequel too. According to the movie’s key production assistant, Nathan Walker, “She’s so funny and in this one, she’s been allowed to improvise a lot more, so she has some great one-liners… She’s got a lot of really good stuff to work with on this one.”

Omri Katz Is Disappointed That He Wasn’t Asked Back To Play Max

There are tons of leads that didn’t return for a sequel, and now Omri Kats will be added to that list, as fans won’t be seeing him in Hocus Pocus 2. As Jerry Maguire once said, “It’s not show friends, it’s show business” and no actor is guaranteed a role in a sequel just because they starred in the original film. And that seems to be the case with Katz, who played Max in Hocus Pocus.

It was one of the main roles in the film, and it seems as if nobody is more disappointed than Kats himself. The actor noted, “People have been asking, and unfortunately, I’m not in it. I would have loved to be involved. I feel bad for the original fan base saying we aren’t because I’m sure they wanted to see us reprise our roles.”

An Original Hocus Pocus Actor Tried To Audition For The Sequel And Didn’t Get It

Just like Omri Kats, Larry Bagby didn’t return for the sequel either, but his role in the first movie wasn’t half as important, as he played Ernie, one of the bullies. However, that doesn’t mean he didn’t try to get a part in Hocus Pocus 2. Interestingly, Bagby tried to bag an audition for a completely different role, a magic store owner, but he, unfortunately, didn’t get the callback.

The actor commented, “Unfortunately, I am not a part of it… I never got an audition for that [Salem Magic Shoppe owner], but that would’ve been clever, even me just playing a cop or something.” It seems like Disney and the filmmakers don’t have much of an interest in bringing back any other original character except for the Sanderson sisters and Bill Butcherson.

Bette Midler Would Sign On To Hocus Pocus 3

Although the sequel has yet to be released, fans and even the cast and crew are already talking about a potential third movie. Bette Midler was quick to talk about how much she’d love to return for Hocus Pocus 3, noting, “I’d love to have a franchise — especially a character I love playing. If there was a third one, of course I’d sign on, but I don’t know how.”

The director also expressed how she’d like to live in the world a little longer. Fletcher hinted, “I have definitely kept it wide open for any sequel. Now it’s really up to them if they

want to do it. I can’t say anything other than yes, it is left open. Will they do it? I don’t know”

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