The Writers Guild of America strike shut down Hollywood for months on end and, while the Screen Actors Guild Strike is continuing to put a wrench in the gears, writers have been back to work for several weeks now. That means projects we haven’t heard about in some time are suddenly coming back to life. One such project is Hocus Pocus 3, which entered development shortly after the sequel hit Disney+ last year. Now, writer Jen D’Angelo has provided an update on the film.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, D’Angelo spoke at length about where they’re at which is, admittedly, in the early stages. They’re hoping that Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy return as the Sanderson Sisters once again, though nothing is set in stone as of right now. Here’s what she had to say about it:
"We're still in the story phase, we're still working on it. We've been working on some ideas, and it's been fun to dive back into that world and we have so many directions in which to go and so many new characters to explore…We've only scratched the surface of Hannah Waddingham's mother witch."
D’Angelo added that “no storylines are concrete” as of right now. That said, it seems very much like exploring Waddingham’s mother witch is very much on the table. The actress appeared in a brief but key sequence in Hocus Pocus 2 set in the 1600s. It turns out, as D’Angelo sees it, her character might have a connection to the 1993 original. The Sanderson Sisters reference a “mother” figure in the first Hocus Pocus and, yes, that may well be Waddingham’s character. "I believe that she's that mother, that she is the scorpion pie mother, and that they had a much more significant relationship with her than we've yet to see," D'Angelo said. "But, maybe we will see."
There is no telling when Disney aims to actually get the movie made but D’Angelo cautions that “3 is still very much in the early stages.” The writer also added that “We don't really know what it is, but we're exploring all options and I think everybody is so delighted by the reaction that Hocus Pocus 2 got, and we're excited to continue those stories.” Lastly, D’Angelo added that yes, they are going to take what fans want into account, but she has no interest in doing pure fan service.
"I want to do right by the fans and I definitely want to keep in mind what they want to see, but, at the same time, I feel like movies can go slightly awry when they're only catering to the fans and trying to check off a list, like, 'We got this and this, so the fans should be happy.’ In reality, you want to make sure that the movie is solid on its own, and the fan service moments are baked into the story and that they're satisfying and not just tacked on."
No word yet on who will be in the director’s chair for the third installment just yet. Kenny Ortega directed the first film, while Anne Fletcher was at the helm for the sequel.
Hocus Pocus 3 does not currently have a release date but stay tuned.