Thirty years after the Whoopi Goldberg-starring Sister Act set the world, and the box office, on fire – and 29 years after the sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, did not – filming is almost ready to begin on a decades-later sequel for Disney Plus. This comes seven years after the project was first announced. In the original, Goldberg plays Reno lounge singer Deloris Wilson, who dons the wimple to hide out in a convent after witnessing a gangland murder.
According to a report in Disney-focused gossip site DisInsider, the threequel will be directed by Tim Federle, who recently helmed Disney Plus’ recent musical, Better Nate Than Never. While Whoopi Goldberg is already signed to return, she remains a cohost of ABC’s daytime chat show The View. As it happens, ABC is owned by Disney, so the process of getting time off from her day job should be pretty smooth.
It remains to be seen how many of the original cast will return to the fold. Kathy Najimy has since costarred in Disney/Pixar’s Wall-E and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas — notably, Perry will coproduce Sister Act 3. According to Wendy Makkena’s Wikipedia page, she’s already set to return as Sister Mary Robert. The big question mark will be if Oscar/Emmy/Tony-winning Dame Maggie Smith, now 87 years old, will be available to fly to Burbank to reprise her role as the stern-but-loving Reverend Mother.
The Sister Act franchise may seem an unlikely subject for a streaming revival, but despite being absent from the big screen since JNCOs were cool, it’s only been building an audience. The original made $231.6 million at the box office in 1992 (almost half a billion in today’s money) against a $31 million budget. While the 1993 sequel flopped at the box office, it became a cult hit on home video and streaming, partly due to the starring role of future pop star Lauren Hill.
A stage musical version played on London’s West End before moving on to Broadway, where it was nominated for multiple Tonys, and ran for 561 performances.