If glorious mornings make you sick and you find yourself compelled to scream “Gather round, sistas!” at random intervals throughout the day, then you’re probably a pretty big fan of Disney’s Hocus Pocus. The film, which tells the story of the witchy Sanderson sisters, has become a classic Halloween must-watch with a cult following ever since it first premiered in 1993. From the black flame candle and Binx the cat to Billy Butcherson and everyone’s favorite musical number, Hocus Pocus remains a pop culture phenomenon.
Fans have been thrilled about the prospect of Hocus Pocus 2 for decades, but this year’s Halloween announcement that the sequel will be arriving on Disney Plus in the fall of 2022 cemented fans’ enthusiasm. We’re all ready to revisit Salem and find out what happens when Winifred, Sarah, and Mary are awoken once again.
While plot details are scarce, fans are confident that a virgin will re-light the black flame candle that brings the witches out of their eternal slumber. Spooks and scares galore likely await the town of Salem, with fans inevitably falling in love with the sequel the same way they did when they first caught Hocus Pocus on the Disney Channel.
The synopsis for Hocus Pocus 2 is as follows:
“Twenty-nine years after the events of Hocus Pocus (1993), three high-school students must work together to stop the Sanderson sisters who have returned to present-day Salem.”
Disney made a few casting announcements for Hocus Pocus 2, including the original Sanderson sisters, all of whom are returning to reprise their roles, as well as a few new additions including Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham. In light of the good news, we felt inspired to take a stroll down memory lane and look back at the cast of Hocus Pocus that first brought the delightful story to life.
What do the original cast members look like today, and what have they been up to since Hocus Pocus premiered? Let’s take a look.
Bette Midler still has the face of Winifred Sanderson and looks as stunning as ever. She has stayed in the public eye since Hocus Pocus and has continued to expand her acting résumé. It’s as if Midler was born to perform, be it in film, television, or live on stage. She’s always been someone who steals the show with her performances in films like Divine Madness and The Stepford Wives to shows like Bette and The Politician. She’s graced our screens in countless roles that fans know and love her for, but the one we’re most excited about is her impending return as Winifred.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker is gearing up for the premiere of the next Sex in the City chapter, And Just Like That, and looks as stunning as ever as she does. Parker played Sarah Sanderson in Hocus Pocus and will reprise her role in next year’s sequel. She’s acted in many films and TV shows since stepping into the role of Sarah Sanderson and has garnered quite a fan base over the years. She’s worked hard to create a remarkable career with projects like The First Wives Club (which she starred in with Midler), I Don’t Know How She Does It, Failure to Launch, and of course Sex and the City.
Kathy Najimy is still the bubbly and beautiful witch we first met in Hocus Pocus when she took on the role of Mary Sanderson. Najimy has continued her career in the entertainment industry with various roles in television and film. From Hope Floats and Bride of Chucky to Veep and Duncanville, she’s run the gamut of comedy, drama, and plenty of voice acting. We can’t wait to see Najimy return to Salem as the silly and hilarious saggy-mouthed Mary.
While Omri Katz had a few roles prior to starring in Hocus Pocus, his career slowed down after the film’s release. You’ve likely seen him in the series Dallas, where he had a recurring role for over 140 episodes, as well as Eerie, Indiana. Katz also had parts in The John Larroquette Show and an episode of Freaks and Geeks. Katz currently runs a company called The Mary Danksters that specializes in cannabis culture.
Thora Birch looks just as fans remember her⏤except, of course, she’s gotten better with age. Birch is a well-known actress who has appeared in a slew of film and television series since her time in Hocus Pocus. Playing Dani Dennison in the movie, she stole our hearts as the adorable little sister who joined her brother and his dream girl as they investigated the mystery of the Sanderson sisters. Birch also acted in films like American Beauty, Now and Then, and Ghost World as well as shows like Parenthood, Colony, and The Walking Dead.
Vinessa Shaw also looks much the same as she did when she starred in Hocus Pocus, and she, too, has stayed close to the entertainment industry as she grew up. From Eyes Wide Shut and The Hills Have Eyes to After the Fall and Ray Donovan, Shaw has acted in numerous mainstream projects over the years.
Many fans first met Sean Murray as the real-life Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus, but Murray had acting roles to his name before then as well. He has continued acting since everyone’s favorite witchy film and has taken on many different roles within his career. From TV movies like The Lottery and For My Daughter’s Honor to his recurring and significant role in NCIS, Murray has become a memorable face in the entertainment industry.
You may not know this, but Sean Murray only played Thackery Binx in the flesh. Once the Sandersons turn him into a black cat, he is then voiced by Jason Marsden, a talented actor and voiceover talent with deep Disney ties. Not only did Marsden act on hit shows like Boy Meets World and Blossom, but he lent his voice to other iconic animated characters including Max Goof in A Goofy Movie and Mungo in Tarzan. Marsden is still an in-demand voice talent, with some of his recent projects including The Secret Life of Pets, DuckTales, and Young Justice.
Fans are thrilled to know that Doug Jones will be reprising his role as Billy Butcherson in Hocus Pocus 2. Jones’ character is a fan favorite, but you might not know how many other iconic characters he’s played over the course of his career. Hocus Pocus was one of Jones’ first films, but he’s acted in many since, and usually as a frightening but soulful monster. Even if you didn’t realize it at the time, if you’ve seen The Shape of Water, Star Trek: Discovery, or Pan’s Labyrinth, then you’ve seen Jones play one of his many colorful creatures.
Garry and Penny Marshall
The Marshalls were both Hollywood staples before their recent passings. In Hocus Pocus, they played the husband-and-wife roles of “Satan” and his grumpy wife, but in real life Garry and Penny were siblings. Garry, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 81, dabbled in acting and also directed some of the most memorable films of our time, including Beaches, Pretty Woman, and The Princess Diaries. Penny, who passed in 2018 at the age of 75, is perhaps best known for playing Laverne on Laverne & Shirley. She also had plenty of directing credits in her own right, including A League of Their Own (which brother Garry acted in), Big, and The Preacher’s Wife. Though brief, their cameos in Hocus Pocus remain a high point in the film.
As fans are aware, the upcoming Hocus Pocus 2 will introduce several new characters as well as the aforementioned originals. We’re ecstatic to see what the fresh faces will bring to the story and how the Sanderson sisters deal with more change, new technology, and a slew of fresh youngsters trying to stop them from achieving eternal youth.
Are you excited for Hocus Pocus 2? Do you love the first film as much as we do? Let’s talk about it.