We’ve known that Disney was working up a Hocus Pocus sequel for a while now, but while they’d said they were interested, there was no official confirmation as to whether the original film’s stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy would actually return for the new one. Now they’ve locked down deals, with shooting ready to start this autumn.

The 1993 original, of course, found Midler, Parker and Najimy as a trio of witch sisters who have been cursed since 1693. 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.

For the sequel, the focus will be on three young women who accidentally bring the Sandersons back, and have to figure out how to stop them wreaking fresh havoc on the world.

Even as the stars as confirmed, there’s a change behind the camera, as Adam Shankman can no longer direct thanks to his work on Disenchanted. He’s handing the job over to Anne Fletcher, who he has known for years, and has directed the likes of Step Up. “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,” Shankman says in a statement.

“Now more than ever, people need to laugh,” Fletcher says. “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.” The aim is to have the movie on Disney Plus in 2022.

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