Hairspray helmer Adam Shankman has been tapped to direct Hocus Pocus 2 for Disney+, Collider has confirmed.
Jen D’Angelo (Workaholics) wrote the script, and while original Hocus Pocus stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy do not currently have deals for the sequel, they are fully expected to return, according to sources. To be honest, I don’t really see the point of moving forward without them, and if Disney brass could convince Rick Moranis to come out of retirement for a sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kid, and Emilio Estevez to return for The Mighty Ducks series, then they should have no problem luring Midler, Parker and Najimy back into the fold. A bubbling cauldron full of money should do the trick.
Hocus Pocus follows three witch sisters who are cursed in 1693 Salem, only to be resurrected 300 years later, when Halloween has become a beloved holiday. The film was hardly a hit at the box office, though it has since become a cult favorite, especially during the month of October.
Shankman is currently prepping Disney’s Enchanted sequel Disenchanted, which is expected to bring back Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey. However, if the original Hocus Pocus stars do sign on for the sequel, it’s possible that Hocus Pocus 2 could go before cameras first to accommodate their schedules.
Shankman recently directed the Taraji P. Henson comedy What Men Want. He’s a good fit for the Hocus Pocus franchise, and a reliable filmmaker, but this sequel struck me as the perfect project for an up-and-coming female director who may have grown up with the original film, so Shankman’s hiring represents a missed opportunity of sorts, at least in my book. He’s represented by UTA, and Variety broke the news.