After the success of “Hocus Pocus 2” on Disney+ last year, Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, has confirmed that a third film is in the works.
In a profile with The New York Times, the outlet noted that “Hocus Pocus 3” is currently in development at the studio, although there is no word yet on whether the next film will head straight to Disney+ or be available in theaters first. In its reporting, The Times points out Bailey oversees a division that makes “two or three big-budget films annually for release in theaters and three modestly budgeted movies for Disney+.”
Debuting September 30, 2022 on Disney+, “Hocus Pocus 2” marked the return of the Sanderson sisters 29 years after the original’s release. The film starred Bette Midler (“The First Wives Club,” “Beaches”), Sarah Jessica Parker (“Sex and the City,” “Divorce”), and Kathy Najimy (“Sister Act,” “Younger”), who reprised their roles as Winifred, Sarah and Mary, respectively.
Anne Fletcher (“Dumplin,’” “The Proposal”) directed from a script by Jen D’Angelo, who in a previous interview with Variety hinted at a potential follow-up film in which fans could see what’s happening in the lives of Max Dennison (Omri Katz) and Allison Watts (Vinessa Shaw), two key characters from the original who were noticeably missing from the sequel.
“We tried so hard to get the original cast back for cameos and then it just kept not working out for one reason or the other,” D’Angelo said to Variety. “But I’m hoping in ‘Hocus Pocus 3,’ we’ll see Max and Alison living in California.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly during a promotional tour for “Hocus Pocus 2,” Midler told the publication, “If there was a third one, of course I’d sign on, but I don’t know how. I can’t imagine what the story would be, but I love Winifred, Sarah, Mary, and our relationship. It’s good for women. We stick together through hell and high water, but we do cause mayhem, and not many women cause that much mayhem!”
“Hocus Pocus 2” set a Nielsen streaming movie record during its debut week, drawing 2.725 billion viewing minutes during the week of September 26-October 2, 2022. Overall, it placed number 2 on the Nielsen Top 10 streaming chart that week, behind only Netflix’s “Dahmer” which attracted 4.370 billion viewing minutes.
“Hocus Pocus 2” also starred Sam Richardson (“The Tomorrow War”), Doug Jones (“The Shape of Water”), Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”), Whitney Peak (“Gossip Girl”), Belissa Escobedo (“American Horror Stories”), Lilia Buckingham (“Dirt”), Froy Gutierrez (“Teen Wolf”), and Tony Hale (“Veep”). The film was produced by Lynn Harris (“King Richard,” “The Shallows”), with Ralph Winter (“Hocus Pocus,” “X-Men” franchise), David Kirschner (“Hocus Pocus,” “Chucky”), and Adam Shankman (“Disenchanted,” “Hairspray”) serving as executive producers.