Entertainment

‘Hocus Pocus 2’ trailer: The Sanderson sisters are back

While the Disney+ sequel is set in Salem, multiple towns in Rhode Island stand in for the North Shore town.

Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker in "Hocus Pocus 2."
Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker in "Hocus Pocus 2." Disney+

The first teaser trailer for Disney’s “Hocus Pocus 2” is here, offering viewers a first glimpse at the sequel to the 1993 cult hit that reignited America’s fascination with the witchy history of Salem, Massachusetts.

“Hocus Pocus 2” brings back the Sanderson sisters — Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker — as the Salem Witch Trial-era sorceresses once again wreak havoc on a group of children in modern-day Salem.

“Lock up your children,” Midler’s character Winifred gleefully shouts in the trailer. “Yes, Salem, we’re back!”

The original “Hocus Pocus” filmed for multiple weeks in Salem and Marblehead, turning several filming locations into tourist attractions in the process.

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This time around, however, Salem is played on-screen by a variety of towns and cities in Rhode Island, most notably Newport, Lincoln, and Providence.

While theories abound, no definitive answer has been given for why Disney opted to film in the Ocean State instead of returning to Salem.

One possible explanation: The film underwent multiple changes in filming dates, and switched directors in early 2021. Eventually, filming kicked off in mid-October 2021, a time when Salem is swamped with thousands upon thousands of tourists.

According to the Brown Daily Herald, “Hocus Pocus 2” cinematographer Elliot Davis said the film was originally intended to be filmed in Salem, but the film’s location managers ultimately opted for Rhode Island after the change in directors, from Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”) to Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal”).

Along with Midler, Najimy, and Jessica Parker, the “Hocus Pocus 2” cast includes Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”), Tony Hale (“Arrested Development”), Sam Richardson (“Veep”), and Doug Jones (“The Shape of Water”).

“Hocus Pocus 2” will be released Sept. 30 on Disney+.

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