It’s official: Disney is working on a Hocus Pocus TV movie. Don’t get too excited. The new project will include a new cast and new director. WHAT? WHY? HOW?
The original Disney film—in which three fabulous witches played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy get resurrected in Salem—is a cult classic and an autumnal standby on Disney and Freeform. According to Deadline, the TV movie, currently in the early stages of development, will be a “reimagining” of the original; David Kirschner, a producer from the original, will executive produce, but Scarlett Lacey (The Royals) will replace original screenwriters Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris, and original director Kenny Ortega will be absent as well.
Rumors of a remake or sequel have been bubbling for what feels like 300 years. (As for why it’s taken so long, Midler once joked that Disney was having “trouble finding a virgin.”) Garris hinted to Forbes in an interview on Tuesday that Disney Channel might be brewing a remake, which perhaps prompted the official confirmation.
Still, we have to wonder why the film is being recast, considering the number of times the original trio has confirmed that they would be interested in reprising their roles. “I would love that,” Parker said in 2016 about filming a Hocus Pocus sequel. “I think we’ve all been fairly vocal about being very keen, but that hasn’t created any ground swell of movement.” No matter why the movie is moving forward without her, Midler, and Najimy—who presumably would call for higher salaries than a TV movie may be prepared to pay—it’s hard to imagine Hocus Pocus without the original Sanderson sisters.