Hocus Pocus 2 is almost here! The three terrifying witches i.e. the Sanderson sisters — Winifred, Sarah, and Mary — are all ready to unite and terrify present-day Salem after being accidentally brought back to life almost three decades after we first met them. But surprisingly, they will be joined by someone who had a rather final-sounding farewell in the last film — the talking immortal black cat aka Thackery Binx. We understand how Billy Butcherson — Winifred’s ex-lover — will make a comeback. He is a zombie, after all. But Binx? What sorcery is at play here?
What happened to Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus?
While Hocus Pocus majorly takes place in 1993, the film starts off in 1693 Salem, where the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) lure a little girl, Emily, to their hideout in the woods in order to suck her life force to become young again. Emily’s teenage brother, Thackery Binx, tries to thwart their plans, but fails to save his sister, who dies before his eyes.
Initially, they decide to kill him, but Binx insulting them provokes Winifred to give him a more ruthless punishment. They turn him into a black cat and curse him to live forever with the knowledge that he failed to save his sister. The townspeople soon catch up with the sisters and hang them to death. But Thackery’s parents don’t recognize him as a cat and he is left to fend for himself. He soon takes it upon himself to guard the Sanderson sisters’ house every Halloween night to ensure that their last spell doesn’t come to fruition — that a virgin will inadvertently light the Black Flame Candle on a Halloween night and bring them back.
How could Thackery Binx come back?
Thackery fulfilled this self-assigned duty for the next 300 years until Dani and Max ended up lighting the candle, and resurrected the witches. Thackery helps the children throughout the film, right from aiding them in escaping the witches to playing a vital role in the sisters’ death. But, once the witches die, his curse is also lifted. His soul reunites with the spirit of his deceased sister and the two depart to the afterlife.
And yet, somehow, the recently-released teaser for Hocus Pocus 2 — where three high-school girls light the Black Flame Candle, unwittingly bringing back the witches, sees a familiar black cat getting significant screen time. While all the witches needed was the candle lighted to come back, how on Earth is Thackery Binx back?
Thackery Binx’s life force is attached to the witches
The witches had cursed Thackery Binx to be a feline forever, but the moment they turned to stone and ceased to exist, the curse was broken. Binx’s human spirit was free to reunite with his sister. It was the witches’ death that ended the curse, so it is possible that, somehow, the spell they cast to transform Binx mysteriously tethered his life force to theirs. Thus, now that they are returning to life, Binx will be snatched from the afterlife as well.
Thackery Binx will come back to save the day again
While Binx was a human in 1693, he became a supernatural creature because the Sanderson sisters used a spell from The Manual of Witchcraft and Alchemy. Maybe, even though the curse was lifted with the witches’ supposed “death,” and Binx became a human soul, he still retained some trace of his supernatural existence.
Perhaps he will sense that someone is tampering with the Black Flame Candle or the Manual and signs of activity will alert him and he will be back to ensure that the Sanderson sisters are defeated once again? There is no denying that, had Binx not been there to aid Max, Dani, and Allison in Hocus Pocus, they would have never made it out alive or managed to thwart the witches.
It is a different cat
Even though the teaser shows a black cat, James Marsden — who voiced Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus — is not a part of the cast of the film. First Entertainment Weekly reported that Marsden will not be returning to the sequel, followed by the actor posting a screenshot of the teaser on his Instagram story and writing the cat “better be female.” This not only confirms that he will not be voicing the cat, but also hints that it is probably not Thackery Binx.
It is possible that the Sanderson sisters will turn some other poor sap into a cat after they come back to life. But, there’s also a slim chance that the cat we see in the Hocus Pocus 2 teaser is just a simple stray, added to spark some nostalgia and/or amp up the spook factor.
One way or another, we are getting a black cat in Hocus Pocus 2, who was important enough to feature prominently in the teaser. Here’s hoping that he (or she) will do what Thackery Binx did in the last film — be a royal pain in the ass for the Sanderson sisters.
Hocus Pocus 2 premieres on September 30, 2022, on Disney Plus.