Hocus Pocus Star Reveals Why She Didn't Return for the Sequel

After 29 years, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are all back as the Sanderson Sisters from the beloved Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus. Aside from the original trio and Doug Jones as Billy Butcherson, Hocus Pocus 2 doesn't feature any of the non-supernatural beings from the original film. Thora Birch was 11 when she played Dani Dennison in the first film, and she went on to star in American Beauty, Ghost World, and more. During Variety's Power of Women event, Birch spoke with Entertainment Tonight and revealed she wanted to be a part of the sequel, but the scheduling did not work out. 

Birch revealed she was "dismayed" she couldn't appear in Hocus Pocus 2, adding, "there were three options we had for how to bring Dani back, all of which I was excited by." She explained, "I was working on something else when they were filming ... otherwise I was definitely going to be there on set with the girls."

"Oh, absolutely," Birch added when asked if she'll be watching the sequel. "I'm excited for the fans who have been begging for Hocus Pocus 2 for years. So yeah, I'll be watching along with everybody else." 

Hocus Pocus 2 is currently up on Rotten Tomatoes with a 62% critics score and 58% audience score. ComicBook.com's Patrick Cavanaugh gave the film a 3 out of 5. The sequel does have a post-credit scene that opens the door for a third movie, and Midler previously said she would be open to making a another installment

"I'm envious of other actors who have franchises, and I was hoping for a sequel to First Wives Club, but we never got that. After 30 years with no sequel to Hocus Pocus, I've always been envious of people who get to do their favorite character more than once. The fact that we got to do this finally, after 30 years of promoting the idea, I'm glad we got to do it. I'd love to have a franchise -- especially a character I love playing," Midler revealed t. "If there was a third one, of course I'd sign on, but I don't know how. I can't imagine what the story would be, but I love Winifred, Sarah, Mary, and our relationship. It's good for women. We stick together through hell and high water, but we do cause mayhem, and not many women cause that much mayhem!"

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Hocus Pocus 2 is now streaming on Disney+.