- Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Hocus Pocus 2.”
- In 2018, Disney published a novel about the Sanderson sisters’ return, 25 years after their defeat.
- The book’s ending shows a way the iconic witches could return for a third movie.
A Disney novel based on “Hocus Pocus” could explain what might be in store for the Sanderson sisters after the sequel’s post-credits scene.
The new movie, which premiered on Disney+ Friday, is set 29 years after the original nostalgic hit movie. In the movie, two girls (Belissa Escobedo and Whitney Peak) are tricked by a magic shop owner (Sam Richardson) into resurrecting the Sanderson sisters (Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker).
Instead of trying to take a child’s soul so they can live — like in the first movie — Winifred (Midler) instead persuades her sisters to perform a forbidden spell so that they can become all-powerful and take revenge on the descendants of the Reverend Traske (Tony Hale), the man that tried to separate the sisters when they were children.
Izzy (Escobedo), Becca (Peak), and their distant friend Cassie (Lilia Buckingham), attempt to stop the witches from performing the spell using Becca’s magic abilities, which she discovers in the film.
The Sandersons succeed but the spell comes at a cost of Winifred losing both of her sisters, who turn to dust. As an act of mercy, Becca and her friends decide to use one more spell to reunite the sisters, turning Winifred into dust along with Billy Butcherson.
The movie ends there with the Sanderson sisters gone for good. However, the post-credits scene shows a black cat stumbling upon a box in the magic shop labeled “BF #2 Candle,” implying there’s another Black Flame Candle, a special item that can be used to resurrect the witches again.
This is similar to the 2018 Disney novel “Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel,” which also ends with a cliffhanger to offer the sisters another return.
“Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel” has more cameos than the sequel movie.
The first half of the sequel book, written by A.W. Jantha, retells the story of the first movie. Max Dennison, Dani Dennison, and Allison, accidentally resurrect the witches by lighting the original Black Flame Candle on Halloween.
Upon their return. the witches try and take Dani’s soul so that they can live past sunrise. They are thwarted by the children and their ally, Thackery Binx, a black cat with the soul of a peasant the witches wronged in 1693. After saving the day, Thackery is able to reunite as a ghost with his sister Emily, who the witches killed in 1693.
The second part of the book is set 25 years later when Max and Allison are married and have a daughter of their own, Poppy Dennison. Their battle against the Sanderson sisters has become urban legend until a new girl, Isabella comes to town and starts inquiring about the witches.
It turns out Isabella is the descendant of Elizabeth, the daughter of a fourth, secret Sanderson sister, and she discovers later in the book that she also has magical abilities, similar to Becca in “Hocus Pocus 2.”
On Halloween, supernatural-skeptic Poppy, her best friend Travis, and her crush, Isabella, decide to contact the Sanderson sisters using a spirit board and instead are tricked into resurrecting the witches.
This time, the witches want to gain immortality and resurrect every witch in hell, swapping their bodies with the people in Salem. The children and the ghosts of Elizabeth, Thackery, and Emily, have to work together to stop the Sandersons.
The book implies that the Sanderson sisters will return to cause mayhem again.
The children succeed at the end of the book, allowing the people of Salem, including Poppy’s parents and aunt, to return from hell. The next day, they all decide to return to the graveyard to meet with the ghosts of Elizabeth, Thackery, and Emily, one more time. Max, Dani, and Allison reunite with their companion from the first movie.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth warns Isabella that witches can never truly die and there is a chance the Sanderson sisters can return. The final chapter shows that Winifred has, in fact, survived, possessing the body of a missing teenager.
Similar to the book, the post-credit scenes of “Hocus Pocus 2” could imply that the witches are not gone forever and there could be another battle for Salem once someone stumbles on the new Black Flame Candle.
The “Hocus Pocus” actors also seem keen to return for a third sequel.
“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,” Midler, who plays Winifred, told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s good for women. We stick together through hell and high water, but we do cause mayhem, and not many women cause that much mayhem!”
Najimy and Parker agreed during their interview with EW.
Parker added: “Kathy [Najimy] had a good idea that the third one should be animated. That would be cool and a smart idea. It’s fun, funny, and could be interesting and innovative, like old-fashioned or new [animation].”
“Hocus Pocus 2” is streaming now on Disney+.