PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The highly-anticipated sequel to the beloved 1993 film, “Hocus Pocus,” began filming in Rhode Island on Monday, according to the Rhode Island Film and TV Office.
“Hocus Pocus 2” will film through the end of the year and is expected to debut on Disney+ in fall 2022.
Actresses Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are returning to their roles as the Sanderson sisters, described as three child-hungry witches who are looking to wreak havoc on the world.
This time, the Sanderson sisters are brought back to present day by three young women, who throughout the movie must figure out how to stop them.
“Hocus Pocus 2” Director Anne Fletcher said she’s grateful that she gets to bring the Sanderson sisters back to life.
“Now more than ever, people need to laugh. 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,” Fletcher said. “This is a movie for everyone, from the fans who grew up with the first film to the next generation of viewers.”
It was first announced back in September that “Hocus Pocus 2” would be filming in Rhode Island when the filmmakers put out a casting call for a variety of extra roles.
Gov. Dan McKee said he’s thrilled that Disney chose Rhode Island as the backdrop for “Hocus Pocus 2.”
“On behalf of Rhode Island, I am proud and honored that again our beautiful state, with its unique scenery, landscapes and local talent, will be the backdrop for a major motion picture,” McKee said. “Film and TV productions such as ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ have positive impacts on our businesses and move our economy in the right direction.”
Steven Feinberg, executive director of the Rhode Island Film and TV Office, said the production will help bolster Rhode Island’s economy, which was all-but decimated during the pandemic.
“Rhode Island is fortunate because we have superb partners in both the public and private sectors, and we enjoy working together to build a positive environment for the creative economy to shine,” Feinberg said. “We are particularly grateful to Walt Disney Productions for providing good paying jobs for many local artists and hard-working technicians from across Rhode Island. Collaboration is key to the art of cinema and we look forward to helping the Hocus Pocus 2 team produce movie magic here in the Ocean State.”
Last Friday, the production announced that Whitney Peak, Lillia Buckingham and Froy Gutierrez were added to the cast, though it’s unclear in what capacity.