The 1993 American horror fantasy comedy film, ‘Hocus Pocus,’ revolves around a teenager named Max Dennison, who despised Halloween. Little did he know that on one fateful night, he accidentally brought back three witches from their temporary death. Now, he had to face a dangerous mission to protect his sister and defeat the troublesome trio.
But Max wasn’t alone in this adventure. He had some help from unexpected allies, including a classmate he had a crush on, Allison Watts, played by Vinessa Shaw. When news broke about the sequel, ‘Hocus Pocus 2,’ anticipation ran high among fans who were eager to see their favorite characters return to the screen. However, it was soon revealed that not all original cast members would be reprising their roles.
One such absence that left fans curious was Vinessa Shaw. Alongside Shaw, Omri Katz, who portrayed Max Dennison, would also not be returning for the sequel. Sequel director Anne Fletcher opened up about the decision to Entertainment Weekly in 2022, explaining:
“We wanted to weave in all of the people that the fans loved, and when you sat back with all the ingredients and story, you’re like, how do we make this work? It was very difficult to try to have them be a part of it because we did talk about it — painstakingly.”
“You’re trying to stay on track with the story, even if they came in as a cameo. People would say, ‘They could be in the background!’ and I’m like, really? You’re going to put the leads of the first movie in the background and be satisfied? You’re not going to be satisfied, you’re going to be angry.”
While some original cast members like Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy returned to reprise their roles as the Sanderson Sisters, Doug Jones was the only returning actor from the first film, alongside the returning witches.
‘Hocus Pocus 2’ introduces a new group of Salem teens who accidentally resurrect the Sanderson Sisters nearly 30 years after the events of the first film. The sequel premiered on Disney+ on September 30, 2022, and after its success, Walt Disney Pictures president Sean Bailey confirmed the development of a third film in the franchise.