If it’s October, it must be time to put Hocus Pocus on the TV on a loop—but soon there may be two versions of the Halloween classic to choose from. Released in 1993, Hocus Pocus was not a success either commercially or critically, but it gained a strong cult following thanks to near-constant plays on Disney Channel and ABC Family every Halloween. While there have been rumblings about a possible sequel for years given the film’s devoted fandom, Deadline now reports that Disney Channel is actually in the early stages of developing a Hocus Pocus remake (or “reimagining” as they call it), which would feature none of the original cast.
This new Hocus Pocus is being written by Scarlett Lacey (The Royals) with David Kirschner, who produced the original, on board to executive produce. Kenny Ortega, who directed the first Hocus Pocus, is not involved, nor are stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, or Kathy Najimy.
Interestingly enough, the original Hocus Pocus was first developed as a Disney Channel original movie before Walt Disney Studios caught wind of the script and thought it would make a fine theatrical feature film. Leonardo DiCaprio famously turned down the lead role of Max to do What’s Eating Gilbert Grape instead, and while the film put together a swell cast (including a very young Thora Birch), it didn’t quite hit during its theatrical run.
I’m not sure there’s really an audience for a Hocus Pocus remake, but then again I’m not necessarily in tune with the current demographic for Disney Channel. I do know Millennials who adore the original are probably unlikely to check this out (the original is on TV constantly during Halloween, after all), so if this does move into production, it’ll almost certainly be made with an eye toward modern youngsters and not trying to tap into the nostalgia folks feel for the first movie.