The Rhode Island Film & TV Office announced today that the Disney+ sequel to the beloved 1993 film, Hocus Pocus, began filming in Rhode Island on October 18, 2021 until the end of the year. The highly anticipated Hocus Pocus 2 is set for a 2022 debut.
Bette Midler (The First Wives Club, Beaches), Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) and Kathy Najimy (Sister Act, Veep) are reprising their roles as the wickedly entertaining Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus 2. Midler returns as Winifred Sanderson, with Parker and Najimy back as her sisters, Sarah and Mary, respectively. In Hocus Pocus 2, three young women accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to present day and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.
Anne Fletcher (Dumplin', The Proposal) directs, taking over from her friend and colleague Adam Shankman (Hairspray, What Men Want), who'll serve as Executive Producer with Ralph Winter (Hocus Pocus, X-Men franchise) and David Kirschner (Hocus Pocus, Chucky). Lynn Harris (King Richard, The Shallows) produces. The screenplay is by Jen D'Angelo.
Director Anne Fletcher stated, "Now more than ever, people need to laugh. We should be laughing every day, and there is so much fun to be had with these three unbelievable women playing delicious characters from such a beloved film," said Fletcher. "I am so grateful to be able to play a part in bringing these witches back to life, and to be working with my friends at Disney again makes it all the more special. This is a movie for everyone, from the fans who grew up with the first film to the next generation of viewers, and I can't wait to get started in the beautiful state of Rhode Island."
Governor Daniel J. McKee said, "On behalf of Rhode Island, I am proud and honored that again our beautiful state, with its unique scenery, landscapes and local talent, will be the backdrop for a major motion picture. Film and TV productions such as Hocus Pocus 2 have positive impacts on our businesses and move our economy in the right direction."
Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, remarked, "We are very excited to welcome Disney and their talented team to the Ocean State to create the next chapter of the popular and highly anticipated sequel, Hocus Pocus 2. Rhode Island is fortunate because we have superb partners in both the public and private sectors, and we enjoy working together to build a positive environment for the creative economy to shine. We are particularly grateful to Walt Disney Productions for providing good paying jobs for many local artists and hard-working technicians from across Rhode Island. Collaboration is key to the art of cinema and we look forward to helping the Hocus Pocus 2 team produce movie magic here in the Ocean State!"
Speaker of the House K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-District 23, Warwick) commented, "The rest of the world will soon be more familiar with what so many Rhode Islanders already know -- we have a very special state; some might even say it's magical. We know that arts are a vital part of not only our culture, but our economy. Rhode Island is a perfect location for Walt Disney Productions to bring its own magic for the filming of Hocus Pocus 2, and I'm proud that our great state will be showcased in this latest of a long line of A-list productions that have been filmed here."
Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-District 4, North Providence, Providence) said "Rhode Island is ideally suited to the needs of the film and television industry. Our small, compact size makes us accessible both in terms of coordinating with state and local agencies and businesses, and in working at locations ranging from city streets and historic homes and mansions to the shore and peaceful woodlands. We warmly welcome Hocus Pocus 2 to Rhode Island and greatly anticipate seeing our state grace the screen once again."
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Executive Director Randall Rosenbaum said, "We are immensely proud that this popular family friendly production is coming to Rhode Island, thanks to the hard work of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office. This is another example where we can witness the expansion of American art as an economic and cultural force."
Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor stated, "Successfully creating a film such as Hocus Pocus 2 isn't accomplished lickety-split via a magic trick — instead, it requires the hard and innovative work of professionals at splendid studios such as Disney and public partners such as our state's Film & Television Office. We thank Steven Feinberg as well as Randy Rosenbaum for their great and effective efforts on this project and across their portfolio. We're excited that Rhode Island will again be in the spotlight because of this production, helping to attract tourism and yet more business activity to our beautiful state."