Hocus Pocus 2 is here. It only took 29 years, but the film is finally about to drop on Disney+, and in support of the film, the cast and filmmakers came together to explain what it feels like to be back and what they hope to deliver with the sequel.
What Does It Feel Like Now That Hocus Pocus 2 Is Finally Here?
Hocus Pocus has a massive following, so it is sort of surprising that it took 29 years for a sequel to finally get made. When asked if she ever thought this day would come, and what it feels like now that it is finally here, Better Midler says that it is a dream come true. She admits that about 15 years ago, she realized what a phenomenon the movie is and started asking her agent if they would be interested in a sequel. She says she doesn’t want to use the word agitating, but it is something she never let go of the hope for, and continued to press about it. She does love a franchise after all.
What about Hocus Pocus makes it such a classic? Kathy Najimy jokes that it is her performance as Mary Sanderson of course, but then goes on to get serious. She says it was a complete surprise to her how the audience resonated with Hocus Pocus. “I think there was something in this film, like Wizard of Oz ish. Where the generation shows it to their kids who show it to their kids. So it becomes part of the fabric of the history of the family. So I don’t think that anyone could ever predict what it would be.”
Doug Jones On Coming Back As Billy Butcher
Billy Butcherson almost instantly became a fan favorite from Hocus Pocus, and Doug Jones exclaims that he was thrilled to return to play him again in Hocus Pocus 2. He says that once he got in full makeup, the muscle memory of Billy came back. The voice, the mannerisms, everything. Although he does joke that aging 29 years didn’t make his job any easier, and he certainly doesn’t remember it being that exhausting to stumble around.
What is it about Billy that makes him so loveable? Jones says that it is because he was “a zombie before zombies were cool.” He also thinks it helps that Billy isn’t a brain eating zombie — all he wants to do is go back to sleep. “I think goofy floppy fun. And he matches the energy in the floppiness and the fun and the overdone characters of the sisters.”
Jones also confesses that he was only in hair and makeup for two hours a day, which is quite impressive. He explains that the “prosthetic pieces are made ahead of time. Getting them on me is the last step.”
Let’s Talk About The Musical Number
One of the fan favorite moments from the original Hocus Pocus film is the musical number, and so of course there needed to be another in Hocus Pocus 2. Director Anne Fletcher explains that the mission in general for this film is the story and honoring the first movie.
She says what was important was “making sure that I’m honoring these characters for the fans and bringing in the new generation. The musical numbers are there for story. I didn’t feel like I could compete with I put a spell on you. So I didn’t try. We stayed really focused on trying to stay more towards the story and we just had so many fun options of songs to choose from.”
The Sisterhood of the Sandersons
Hocus Pocus 2 gives fans the backstory of the Sanderson Sisters, but also focuses heavily on their sisterhood and the love they have for one another. When asked what that means to the cast, Bette Midler says they discussed in length the loyalty, and the ability to lean on one another.
“There’s so much going on in this world that we never really realized until maybe the last 25 to 30 years — maybe 50 years. Things have changed for women, but things have not changed fast enough for women. I think in this movie, these three characters are, in a strange and odd way, they’re really quite positive for women. First of all, they’re very funny, which women are not allowed to be, or you’re not supposed to be. They’re intensely loyal to each other even though there is a broad range of emotions that they live through. In any situation where women are together, a bond of friendship and sisterhood is really important, and this movie says sort of shores it up.”
Mary Najimy adds that the sisters are very decisive. “There’s very little hesitant in our ideas and the things that we’re going. We’re gonna get it done, even if it’s eating children. Whatever our mission is, there’s not a lot of second-guessing.”
The long-awaited sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, hits Disney+ on September 30th.