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Is ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ the longest wait for a sequel ever?

We're finally getting the long-awaited follow-up to Halloween classic 'Hocus Pocus.' Is this the longest fans have had to wait for a sequel?

Hocus Pocus 2
Image via Disney

Hocus Pocus 2 will be kickstarting the build-up to Halloween this year with the Sanderson Sisters once again bringing magic and mayhem to Salem. The witches have had a considerable wait since they were last resurrected through the cursed Black Flame Candle in 1993. Almost 30 years have passed since then, and the film that was originally a box-office bomb went on to become a cult classic, with enough legendary status to prompt Disney to revive the witches once more. With so much time having passed, some wonder if this is the longest gap between a movie and its sequel.

We first met the Sanderson sisters on October 31, 1693, in Salem, Massachusetts. There they were brewing up a potion that would allow them to remain young forever by draining the life force from the young child Emily Thackery. Though the potion works, they are caught by the townspeople who hang the witches. The sisters vow to return when a virgin lights the Black Flame candle and then wait for 300 years before a young Max Dennison does exactly in (then modern-day) 1993.

In comparison to those 300 years, 29 years would feel like nothing to the witches, but in real life, we mere mortals age, and fans have been begging for a sequel to the film since it gained popularity in the 00s and early 10s. Though it’s taken its sweet time, this isn’t the longest fans have had to wait between a movie and its follow-up. Sometimes, as with Hocus Pocus 2, fans and even actors have had to push for a sequel — but sometimes production companies are ready to get started on a sequel straightaway, but actors get involved in other projects, causing logistical problems, or simply don’t want to.

That happened in the case of another sequel that was released this year with an even bigger gap than Hocus PocusTop Gun: Maverick. The original Top Gun premiered in 1986 meaning that there is a whopping 36-year gap between the two movies. According to lead actor Tom Cruise, Paramount was on board to make a sequel before the first film even hit cinemas but it was Cruise himself that was against it back then. Only after years of fan pressure did the action star eventually relent.

As audiences demand more and more content thanks to streaming, we are living in a time of cinematic reboots and sequels that come long after the original movies. Some have done exceedingly well, such as Mad Max: Fury Road (29 years) and Blade Runner 2049 (35 years). Others have fallen completely flat and felt totally unnecessary, such as Coming 2 America (33 years), Dumb and Dumber To (20 years), and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (19 years).

One group of films that have notably had long gaps between their movies is animated films. Thanks to the fact that everything is animated it allows a lot more freedom as you don’t have to worry about the actors aging so much, and it is easier to recast without people noticing or it overly ruining the look of the film. This has been the case with The Incredibles 2 (14 years), Toy Story 3 (10 years), Finding Dory (13 years), and the true victor of the longest length of time between a movie and its sequel, Bambi II, with a huge gap of 64 years!

Hocus Pocus 2 sees the return of Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson respectively, as well as Doug Jones as Winifred’s former lover, William “Billy” Butcherson. The story will shift away from the story of Max, Dani, and Allison and will instead revolve around three friends Becca (Whitney Peak), Cassie (Lilia Buckingham), and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo).

We don’t have to wait for Halloween to see the witches back on our screens with Hocus Focus 2 flying onto Disney Plus on September 30.

Laura Pollacco
About the author

Laura Pollacco

Laura Pollacco is Freelance Writer at We Got This Covered and has been deep diving into entertainment news for almost a full year. After graduating with a degree in Fashion Photography from Falmouth University, Laura moved to Japan, then back to England, and now back to Japan. She doesn't watch as much anime as she would like but keeps up to date with all things Marvel and 'Lord of the Rings'. She also writes about Japanese culture for various Tokyo-based publications.