- Hocus Pocus’ original director Kenny Ortega was not approached to direct Hocus Pocus 2
- Ortega plans to watch the sequel this Halloween and remains supportive of the original cast
- The absence of the original protagonists in Hocus Pocus 2 was a creative choice, but Ortega is open to future conversations about the franchise
Kenny Ortega, the director of the beloved Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, was not asked to return and direct the 2022 sequel, Hocus Pocus 2. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ortega expressed his disappointment, but also his support for the original cast members, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, who reprised their roles as the Sanderson sisters in the Disney+ sequel.
Ortega has not yet seen the follow-up film but plans to do so this Halloween. He said, “I just didn’t see it last year when it came out, I was working, and then it just never was something that I could get to. But, I will. Of course, I will.”
Not only was Ortega not involved in the sequel, but the original film’s protagonists Max (Omri Katz), Allison (Vinessa Shaw), and Dani (Thora Birch) are also absent in Hocus Pocus 2. Ortega addressed this creative choice during the same interview, saying, “Young blood, new ideas, I don’t know, for whatever reason that they don’t, it’s their choice. I was available, I was interested, and I still am available and interested, if that were to ever be a conversation that someone wanted to have with me. And yet, at the same time, I support the franchise however they want to move forward with it.”
Actress Bette Midler is open to doing a third Hocus Pocus film if the opportunity arises. She said in a separate interview with EW, “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!”
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are also open to returning as the other Sanderson sisters for another adventure in Salem. Najimy said, “Never say never,” regarding a third film, while Parker shared her thoughts on an animated sequel: “That would be cool and a smart idea. It’s fun, funny, and could be interesting and innovative, like old-fashioned or new [animation]. Of course, I’d be happy to have a conversation [regarding a third film], it just depends on what Kathy and Bette want!”
Both Hocus Pocus and Hocus Pocus 2 are currently available to stream on Disney+. Fans can also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original 1993 film during Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween marathon.