At long last, Hocus Pocus fans are getting their wish: A new movie in the franchise.

Although the kid-friendly horror movie was not a big hit in theaters in 1993, the film — about the misadventures of three witches played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy — grew into a Halloween staple on VHS and cable, airing constantly in the weeks before Halloween. Some 30 years later, it’s now a favorite of children of the ’90s. Disney started work on a sequel recently, and today they announced that production on the film has officially begun.

In addition to original stars Midler, Parker, and Najimy, the sequel (which is titled Hocus Pocus 2) also stars Whitney Peak, Lilia Buckingham, and Belissa Escobedo as a trio of “young women in present-day Salem who incite the wrath of the three witches.” Also joining the cast are Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, and Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham.

Here is the film’s official synopsis:

It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters who were executed for practicing witchcraft, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to figure out how to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before midnight on All Hallow’s Eve. 

Also returning from the original film is Doug Jones, reprising his role as the zombie Billy Butcherson. The director of the project is Anne Fletcher, whose previous efforts include Step Up27 DressesThe Proposal, and The Guilt Trip. Via the press release, here was Fletcher’s statement on the start of production:

I am beyond thrilled to be involved in the sequel to a film that is as beloved as ‘Hocus Pocus. Fans around the world have embraced these characters and have made this film a Halloween tradition whose popularity continues to grow, and how lucky am I to be back at Disney with these three extraordinarily talented ladies in the iconic roles they created, as well as our fabulous new additions to the cast?

Hocus Pocus 2 will debut on Disney+ in the fall of 2022. You have to assume the plan is to have it ready in time for the Halloween season next year so that the tradition of watching Hocus Pocus can roll right into watching the new film on repeat.

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