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Even after 24 years, Disney’s spooky 1993 comedy Hocus Pocus remains a Halloween season staple. And now, just in time for October, Disney Channel has confirmed that a remake of the ‘90s original is currently in the works.
But don’t start celebrating just yet. Apparently the remake, to be written by The Royals’ Scarlett Lacey and produced by David Kirschner (who also produced the original), will feature a brand-new cast and director.
It’ll only take a few seconds of scrolling through the Hocus Pocus tag on Twitter to get a good sense of fans’ disappointment and rage with the casting news (although we’re also sad that director Kenny Ortega, aka the man behind the High School Musical films, won’t be returning either).
And their frustration is justified. The original performances by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy (who play witchy Sanderson Sisters Winnie, Sarah and Mary, respectively) are legendary, and finding suitable replacements won’t be easy. Plus, some fans are still scarred after what Disney did to Marnie in Return to Halloweentown.
On one hand, we don’t understand why Midler, Parker, and Najimy don’t just give the fans what they want and reprise their roles, especially since it was just confirmed that Sex and the City 3 won’t be a thing. But on the other hand Parker’s still kind of busy working on her HBO show, Divorce, and Midler may very well decide to keep riding the Broadway wave after her impressive Tony win for Hello, Dolly!
Besides, it might be kind of cool to see a new crop of actresses put their own spin on the quirky Sanderson sisters. Don’t hate us, but we think Tracee Ellis Ross, Mayim Bialik, or even Tina Fey could totally hold their own in the Hocus Pocus-verse.
According to Disney, the plot of the remake will closely resemble that of the 1993 original, which follows a teenage boy who moves to Salem, Massachusetts and accidentally unleashes three imprisoned witches. But based on the surprising casting news, Disney will probably end up making a few tweaks to the story as well.
If you want to refamiliarize yourself with the original film and/or lament the departure of the OG cast, check out the 1993 Hocus Pocus trailer below.