It took practically three a long time, however the extremely anticipated “Hocus Pocus” sequel lastly arrived final yr, simply in time for Halloween. However there’s much more excellent news for longtime followers of the spooky franchise: a 3rd film is formally within the works at Disney. Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios Movement Image Manufacturing, shared the announcement himself in a New York Occasions profile printed on June 4.

The publication famous that “Hocus Pocus 3” is, certainly, taking place, whereas Bailey mentioned the 50-plus motion pictures in growth and manufacturing on the firm — which embrace upcoming live-action variations of “Moana” and “Lilo & Stitch.”

No different particulars concerning the third Hocus Pocus film had been revealed on the time, together with whether or not or not the Sanderson sisters — Winnie (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy), and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) — will return. Nonetheless, screenwriter Jen D’Angelo dropped some hints in an October interview with Leisure Weekly. She shared that the third film will nonetheless revolve across the sister trio, which suggests the three actors will reprise their roles.

“We’re still in the story phase, we’re still working on it,” D’Angelo mentioned. “We’ve been working on some ideas, and it’s been fun to dive back into that world and we have so many directions in which to go and so many new characters to explore.”

The screenwriter additionally teased the enlargement of Hannah Waddingham’s mom witch character, who performs a key function within the 2022 sequel. “We’ve only scratched the surface,” D’Angelo mentioned.

“I’m hoping that we are able to explore every aspect of these stories and take these characters on a bunch of fun adventures.”

Nonetheless, nothing’s set in stone but, as D’Angelo mentioned she and Disney are nonetheless exploring the place they might take the Sanderson sisters subsequent. She added that “anything’s on the table” for “Hocus Pocus 3” — however one element appears to be agency. “[W]e for sure want to see them again as adults,” mentioned D’Angelo, although she added that she’s intrigued by the younger actors who portrayed the child variations of the Sanderson sisters firstly of the sequel.

“I’m hoping that we are able to explore every aspect of these stories and take these characters on a bunch of fun adventures,” she mentioned. “‘3’ is still very much in the early stages, we don’t really know what it is, but we’re exploring all options and I think everybody is so delighted by the reaction that ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ got, and we’re excited to continue those stories.”

When “Hocus Pocus 2” — which picks up 29 years after the primary movie, with a brand new group of meddling Salem youngsters — debuted on Disney+ on Sept. 30, 2022, the solid did not appear to be wanting too far forward at a possible third film. “I feel like we’re done. We’ve pulled every story you could pull out of this,” Najimy advised EW on the time. “I guess, never say never, but I feel grateful that we got to do it again. I don’t know that there are plans for a third one, but I know fans are dedicated to this film. I’m just happy we can bring this to them.”

In the identical interview, Midler expressed comparable emotions: gratitude for attending to revisit the function, uncertainty over the potential for one other film, however an open thoughts if the appropriate story got here alongside.

“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,” she shared. “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. 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.”

Now that we all know a 3rd film is definitely taking place, the massive query on everybody’s minds is: the place will the Sanderson sisters’ story go subsequent? The 2022 sequel ends with the trio vanishing collectively after a spell gone fallacious, however the film’s post-credits scene teases their potential return. Seeing as if Disney left the door open there (and given D’Angelo’s enthusiasm), it is fairly doable there is a approach to convey all three “wicked sisters” again for extra misadventures — and one of many franchise’s stars has an thought of how.

“Kathy had a good idea that the third one should be animated. That would be cool and a smart idea!” Parker advised EW. “It’s fun, funny, and could be interesting and innovative, like old-fashioned or new [animation]. Of course, I’d be happy to have a conversation, it just depends on what Kathy and Bette want!”

For now, it will be a ready recreation to see how Disney handles “Hocus Pocus 3,” however at the least followers can rejoice that the film collection will proceed!