1990s cult favorite Hocus Pocus is now becoming a TV movie on the Disney Channel. When it first came out in 1993, Hocus Pocus was far from a hit. Its reviews were not terribly good and it wasn't initially a commercial success. However, the family film won over its audience and over time has developing a strong following of its own. The Halloween-themed movie sold well both in VHS and DVD formats, and continues to do so especially during the month of October. With horror being the genre that tends to dominate the Halloween season, Hocus Pocus offers families with children an age-appropriate alternative, while still providing a few scares.
The movie's plot is simple and fun: when a young teen accidentally resurrects three witches, he must protect his younger sister from their evil plan to take her youth. Along the way he is helped by a classmate, a cat possessed by the soul of a boy his age from hundreds of years ago, and the living corpse of one of the witches' former lovers. In the end, of course, the witches are vanquished, the bullies thwarted, and young love blossoms.
Mick Gattis - cowriter of the original Hocus Pocus - reveal this week that a made-for-TV sequel might be in the works, though he could not reveal any details beyond that. Although Deadline has now confirmed that a Hocus Pocus TV movie is indeed moving forward at the Disney Channel, the site doesn't specify whether the film will be a sequel to the original 1993 flick or a re-imagining for the small screen.
The TV movie is being written by Scarlett Lacey, who previously wrote several episodes of The Royals as well as My Sweet Audrina - a made-for-TV movie based on a V.C. Andrews novel. Hocus Pocus producer David Kirschner is also onboard to executive produce the TV film. It looks as though the TV movie will also feature a different director, which is a bit of a surprise seeing as the original film was directed by Kenny Ortega (a frequent director of Disney Channel movies).
The Hocus Pocus TV movie will also be looking for a new cast, which is no surprise considering how much time has passed since the original film came out. The three witches from the original film - The Sanderson Sisters - were turned to dust at the end of the movie, while the film's heroes were all children who are now are quite grown up. While it might be fun to include cameos of some of the original stars, recasting the Hocus Pocus TV movie will keep the main characters young, and will avoid the issue of having to explain how the youth-obsessed Sanderson sisters are now more than twenty years older. That said, it is hard to imagine any version of Hocus Pocus without Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.
With the TV movie still in early development, it will probably be awhile before the new cast and new director are chosen and announced. So fans will probably have to wait a couple more years before they finally get another serving of Hocus Pocus-flavored goodness.
We will bring you more information on the Hocus Pocus TV movie as it becomes available.