As the witchy franchise gears up to return to screens, original Hocus Pocus star Thora Birch reveals she’s disappointed she couldn’t reprise her role as Dani in Hocus Pocus 2. Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the villainous Sanderson sisters, Hocus Pocus was released in 1993. Regarded as one of the most popular Halloween films of all time, Hocus Pocus helped to kick off Birch’s career with her portrayal of Dani Dennison. Co-starring Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw, and Jason Marsden as the voice of Binx, Hocus Pocus follows Max, Allison, and Dani as they embark on a mission to stop the trio of witches from becoming immortal.
In 2021, Disney announced that a sequel to Hocus Pocus was happening after decades of the project languishing in development hell. Featuring the returns of Midler, Parker, Najimy, and Doug Jones as zombie Billy Butcherson, Hocus Pocus 2 centers on the resurrection of Winifred, Sarah, and Mary after a new group of high school students (Belissa Escobedo, Whitney Peak, and Lila Buckingham) lights the Black Flame Candle. Directed by Anne Fletcher, Hocus Pocus 2 will also explore the origin story of the Sanderson Sisters. Despite the infamous witches returning three decades later, it was confirmed that Katz, Shaw, and Birch will not reprise their roles, and now one of them is discussing their sequel absence.
While speaking with ETOnline, Thora Birch revealed her disappointment that she couldn’t reprise her role as Dani for Hocus Pocus 2. The original Hocus Pocus actor confirmed she was set to appear in the sequel as grown-up Dani, but her schedule prevented it from happening, but that she is excited to see it. Read Birch’s comment below:
I was just a little dismayed I wasn’t able to make it. I was working on something else when they were filming, otherwise I was definitely going to be there on set with the girls. I can’t wait to see what they do with it. I know they’re taking a completely different, fresh approach, so I’m excited.
Could Dani Return In A Hocus Pocus 3?
Of course, Hocus Pocus fans were disappointed to learn that Max, Allison, and Dani would not make an appearance in Hocus Pocus 2. However, Midler recently stoked the fires of the possibility of Hocus Pocus 3. While it remains to be seen if Disney will expand Hocus Pocus into a trilogy, a third film could open the door for the return of Birch as Dani in a substantial role. Indeed, Birch continues to express her regret at not being able to participate in Hocus Pocus 2, but the actress remains a staple in the film’s legacy.
For now, Hocus Pocus fans won’t have to wait much longer to watch Hocus Pocus 2. Set 29 years after the events of the original film, Hocus Pocus 2 has plenty of opportunities to nod to Max, Allison, Dani, and Binx that could infuse doses of nostalgia for fans while diving into the backstory of the Sanderson sisters and featuring a new influx of characters. Hocus Pocus 2 is ready to unleash a new spell when it debuts on Disney+ on September 30.