The cast of Disney’s long-in-the-works Hocus Pocus sequel officially jumped from “Oh, okay” to “Oh, okay!” today, with news that Sam Richardson is reportedly in talks to join the film. Given that Hocus Pocus 2 already features a confirmed return from Hocus Pocus 1 stars Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Bette Midler, you might think the Disney+ film already had everything a fan of the franchise might need for this continuation. But you’d be wrong, because it didn’t have Sam Richardson—until now!
Details about the film are still being kept fairly tightly under wraps—beyond “some people presumably lit that dang candle again, thus bringing the Sanderson sisters back to life”—so we won’t know for a while what role Richardson will be playing. (If we had to guess: Earnest, enthusiastic, a little dopey—and the funniest part of the film.) Specifically, we don’t know whether he’ll be able to continue his war against The Boneys, who, obviously, would side with the evil witches in their war for Salem, Massachusetts.
Hocus Pocus 2 has been in some form of development for years at this point, fueled by a whole generation’s semi-obsessive love for the pumpkin-flavored detritus and artifacts of its childhood. (Also: Kathy Najimy.) The production previously tried to get the movie going without Midler being involved, which is just, y’know, ludicrous, but apparently everyone involved came to their senses to ensure a full complement of Sandersons would be on hand.
Hocus Pocus got a strange second life last year; Disney dropped it back into the few open theaters in October of 2020, when it (briefly) became one of the top performing movies on the planet.