With apologies to What Men Want director Adam Shankman—announced by Variety today as the man in charge of Disney+’s long-planned sequel to 1993 tween horror favorite Hocus Pocus—we do have a simple question to ask: Where’s Bette, Adam? How you gonna pull this thing off without Bette?
And sure, there are a lot of factors that work in favor of a Hocus Pocus revival, including the fact that Disney+ has an apparently bottomless appetite for nostalgia projects you can watch with yours kids, desperately explaining to them that, no, it’s not that weird that high school student Omri Katz has not had sex just yet. But also: Where the fuck is Bette, huh?
In fact, none of the stars of the first film have so far expressed any interest in this Najimy-less farce—although Bette Midler herself has been the one most dismissive of the project’s existence. It’s been a few years, but the last time she was asked about returning to the Sanderson Sisters well, Midler first declared that she thought the whole thing (originally set for Disney Channel) was going to be “cheap,” and then gave a hurried “No, no!” when asked if she’d ever consider revisiting her infamously witchy part.
That being said: Disney has said that it’s “hopeful” that some of the cast might return, which may or may not translate to “We’re willing to throw a lot of money at this thing if it gets Sarah Jessica Parker to come back.” Certainly, the company hasn’t been shy about tossing cash around when it comes to Disney+ projects, so hey, who knows?
Shankman (whose other previous credits include jukebox musical movie Rock Of Ages) is also currently set to helm an Enchantment sequel movie for Disney; it’s not clear which project he’ll be devoting his energy to next.