Hocus Pocus 2: Anne Fletcher directing 2022 Disney+ release

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Five months ago, it was announced that Adam Shankman would be directing a sequel to the 1993 box office failure turned beloved Halloween classic Hocus Pocus (watch it HERE) for the Disney+ streaming service, with the original film's stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy expected to return. There has been a change of plans since then, as Hocus Pocus 2 is going to be directed by Shankman's longtime collaborator Anne Fletcher. Other than the director switch-up, the film is on track for a 2022 release – and Midler, Parker, and Najimy are officially signed on to reprise the roles of the Sanderson sisters.

Hocus Pocus 2 will begin filming this fall.

Shankman had to vacate the director's chair because he's busy directing another Disney project, the Enchanted sequel Disenchanted. He and Fletcher first met in 1990, when they were both dancers on the Oscars telecast. Shankman hired Fletcher as his assistant choreographer and they worked together on over 100 different projects. In 2006, Fletcher made her directorial debut with the dance movie Step Up, which Shankman produced.

Shankman had this to say about handing Hocus Pocus 2 over to Fletcher: 

As heartbroken as I am that I won’t be able to direct my friends Bette, Sarah Jessica and Kathy in what is sure to be nothing short of a major event for Disney Plus due to scheduling conflicts, I couldn’t be more pleased to be handing over the reins to Anne, who has brought so much laughter and joy into people’s lives with her previous work. I am still grateful and proud to help shepherd this ingenious project as executive producer alongside producer Lynn Harris, whom I have loved and admired as a colleague and friend since she helped get me the job choreographing Boogie Nights."

Fletcher said: 

Now more than ever, people need to laugh. We should be laughing every day, and there is so much fun to be had with these three unbelievable women playing delicious characters from such a beloved film. I am so grateful to be able to play a part in bringing these witches back to life, and to be working with my friends at Disney again makes it all the more special. This is a movie for everyone, from the fans who grew up with the first film to the next generation of viewers, and I can’t wait to get started."

Directed by Kenny Ortega from a screenplay credited to Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert (and based on story Garris crafted with David Kirschner), the first Hocus Pocus was about

a trio of witch sisters who have been cursed since 1963. The fearsome threesome is inadvertently resurrected 300 years later by a boy whose family has moved from Los Angeles to Salem. As they attempt to acclimate to the 20th century, they are horrified to discover that Halloween has become a holiday.

Hocus Pocus 2 will follow 

three young women who accidentally bring the Sanderson sisters back to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.

Last we heard, writer/actor/stand up comedian Jen D'Angelo, best known for scripting multiple episodes of the show Workaholics, was working on the screenplay.

Fletcher's other directorial credits include 27 Dresses, The Proposal, The Guilt Trip, Hot Pursuit, and Dumplin'.

Source: Variety

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.