Nearly thirty years ago, the world was introduced to the Sanderson Sisters. Played by beloved actresses like Sex and the City Emmy winner Sarah Jessica Parker, Sister Act star Kathy Najimy, and famed comedienne Bette Midler (whose outspokenness might make her slightly less beloved), the trio have spent several decades as Spooky Season Icons thanks to the bone-chilling charisma they brought to screen as the central witch trio at the heart of Disney’s Hocus Pocus. Deliciously wicked and harboring a troubling appetite for children, the Sanderson Sisters have withstood the test of time, seemingly getting only more popular with each passing year.
Which is why it was only a matter of time before the Mouse House found a new way to cash in by bringing them back from the undead — and now, they officially are! After years of rumors about a sequel that never materialized, the Sanderson Sisters are finally slated to make their official return with Hocus Pocus 2. All three original actresses will be back to reprise their original roles. (Meaning, yes, there’s a way to get a new dose of Sarah Jessica Parker while we all wait with bated breath for another hate-watched season of And Just Like That…)
Of course, what good is a 30-year-old update to a very familiar story if it doesn’t introduce audiences to the next generation of screen stars? Luckily, from the looks of it, the team behind Hocus Pocus 2 certainly did their homework. Exhibit A? The casting of Veep’s silent weapon Sam Richardson (who’s equally great in The Afterparty and Detroiters, hint-hint). Richardson is the best part of the just released trailer, playing the delightful owner of a witch store, who tells impressionable teenagers things like, “You know, legend has it, it’s on the sixteenth birthday that a witch gets her powers.” Also, his name is Gilbert. Could it get any more perfect?
Other new faces to the Hocus Pocus fold include Gossip Girl’s Whitney Peak as Becca, the young girl whose sixteenth birthday triggers Gilbert’s aforementioned words of wisdom (or were they ones of foreboding evil...hmmm), and American Horror Stories’ Belissa Escobedo as Izzy, Becca’s supportive friend. Judging by the trailer, Becca and Izzy try their luck at tapping into their inner witch powers by doing a late-night ritual on Becca’s birthday. And everything seems to be okay until, well, it’s not. After finishing their spell (“We call on thee with one request, to help our intentions manifest”), the black candle sitting between both of them spontaneously lights up, and three cracks begin to form on the ground beneath them.
These three cracks, naturally, you guessed it, mark the return of Sarah, Mary, and Winifred Sanderson. And from the looks of the trailer, some things have not changed one bit — at least for our favorite sinister sisters. “Lock up your children,” Winifred shouts immediately after being unleashed by Becca and Izzy’s spell. “Yes, Salem, we’re back!” Cue the evil laughing.
So I guess what the trailer warns is true: Some Legends Never Die.
Watch the trailer below before Hocus Pocus 2 hits your Disney+ queue on September 30.