Interviews Movies

Disney’s Hocus Pocus 2’s Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy & Sarah Jessica Parker Are the Sanderson Sisters Again

The cast and filmmakers from Disney’s Hocus Pocus 2 were in frightfully good spirits earlier this evening at the premiere of the Disney+ Original live-action comedy and haunting sequel to the Halloween classic at New York’s AMC Lincoln Square Cinemas.

The film’s stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Sam Richardson, Doug Jones, Tony Hale, Froy Gutierrez, Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham, Taylor Henderson, Nina Kitchen, Juju Brenner, Kahmora Hall, and Ginger were in attendance, as were filmmakers Anne Fletcher (director), Jen D’Angelo (screenwriter), Lynn Harris (producer), and Adam Shankman (executive producer), and guests Kristin Chenoweth, Sunny Hostin, and Ralph Macchio. 

Hocus Pocus 2 will premiere September 30 on Disney+ as a part of the streaming service’s Hallowstream celebration.

It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.

Bette Midler expressed her joy of returning to the series, “I waited a long time I think we all did the three of us did me and me Kathy and Sarah Jessica we waited a long time and we’ve always you know it’s sort of it’s been something that’s been bubbling under that we’ve always wanted to do and every you know every now and again when we would see each other we would like we would agitate and wring our hands but finally our dream came true so we’re really thrilled we’re just thrilled.”

Kathy Najimy shared that sentiment, “We know about the fans it’s been almost 30 years that it’s been cultivating because when it first came out it was in the theaters but when it hit the TVs those parents showed up to their kids who then became parentages and their kids. So, the fervor is very surprising to us. But just to come here and see everyone dress like your character it’s surreal, it’s a lot of fun. The interesting thing is that when I did this character and when I do it now, I don’t really try. She’s just somewhere in me, which is really scary and so she’s there so immediately. I didn’t go to acting school for this issue, it just comes and embodies me. It’s a lot of fun.”

Najimy also shared some insight into what fans can expect with the sequel including being impressed by what Tony Hale brings to the movie as Mayor and Reverend Traske. “We have new musical numbers. One of them is a kind of an Elton John mashup and when you have Bette Midler starring in a movie if you don’t have singing it’s a sin. Tony Hale is in this film. I think it’s one of the funniest performances I’ve ever seen in my whole life in my life. This is a master. You’re gonna love it.”

Sarah Jessica Park who returns as Sarah talked about the longevity of the original movie. “When you’re fortunate enough to do something that people have a connection to and integrate into their lives and feel such affection for, it’s very meaningful. Because we’re actors because we like to tell a story and be somebody and transport ourselves but far more importantly the audience and it just means that that mission was accomplished. I think the sort of longevity of this particular film in people’s lives and the generational transition, the handing off to the next it’s very touching and we’re all feel very lucky. “

Parker continued with her appreciation for the fans, “The idea that we might have done right by [the fans] excites me and the years and years of commitment to this movie that I will be very excited if they feel satisfied. [Fans] are as much a part of the story as we are, so it excites me to hear the early enthusiasm. I hope that’s just not a rumor going around. We’re just along for the ride Kathy, [Bette] and I will sing and dance and fly wherever you tell us to go because the first movie had those kinds of touchstones it was incumbent upon us to figure out a way to do it again.”

Hocus Pocus 2 stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Sam Richardson, Doug Jones, Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham, Froy Gutierrez, with Tony Hale and Hannah Waddingham.

The film is directed by Anne Fletcher from a screenplay by Jen D’Angelo and a story by David Kirschner & Blake Harris, and Jen D’Angelo, produced by Lynn Harris, with Ralph Winter, David Kirschner, and Adam Shankman serving as executive producers. 

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