- After 29 years of anticipation, Hocus Pocus 2 debuted on Disney+, with many original cast members reprising their roles.
- Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker all returned to reprise their roles as the legendary Sanderson sisters from the original 1993 film.
- In addition, Doug Jones reprised his role as Billy Butcherson, Winifred’s zombified ex-lover Sarah Sanderson.
- The original cast members who played Max Dennison, Dani Dennison, and Allison are not returning for the sequel.
- The trio is mentioned in Hocus Pocus 2, but no actual actors appear.
According to the actors of the Disney sequel, Thora Birch almost played a school teacher in the sequel film. Birch portrayed the youngest of three children who strive and succeed in preventing the Sanderson sisters, a coven of newly-resurrected witches, from taking over their town of Salem.
Thora Birch came close to playing a schoolteacher in ‘Hocus Pocus 2’
Birch was one of the original film’s stars who did not appear in the sequel, which debuted last week on Disney+.
Belissa Escobedo, who appeared in “Hocus Pocus 2,” told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview that Birch was almost cast as a schoolteacher in the sequel.
“We were almost there,” Escobedo said. “I recall speaking with Anne Fletcher [the director] about it being a thing where she was our teacher and we went to her for help.”
Gilbert, a new character who owns a magic shop in the Sanderson sisters’ old house, wasn’t in the original screenplay, according to Escobedo.
Lilia Buckingham, Escobedo’s co-star, stated that Birch would have played the mentor role instead.
Thora Birch was working on another project during the filming of ‘Hocus Pocus 2’.
Birch recently spoke with Entertainment Tonight about her inability to appear in the sequel.
“I was really disappointed I couldn’t make it,” Birch said. “We had three options for bringing Dani back, all of which I was excited about,”
“I was already working on something else by the time they got around to filming.”
Earlier this year, the actress told the outlet that if she hadn’t had a scheduling conflict, she would “absolutely be there on set with the girls.”
Despite her absence from the sequel, she is looking forward to the 30th anniversary of the first film.
“I’m still reeling from the 20th anniversary of Hocus Pocus. “I’m sure this one will be a lot more special,” the actress joked.
Thora Birch was a famous child actress.
As a child, she had a successful film acting career, starring in Hocus Pocus and co-starring with Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and A Clear and Present Danger.
She appeared to be on track for a successful adult career after appearing in critically acclaimed films such as 1999 Best Picture winner American Beauty and 2001’s Ghost World.
Then she vanished, seemingly out of nowhere.
While Birch has maintained a consistent level of performance since her peak, the projects have taken a back seat due to a variety of issues.
She received a SAG Award and other accolades for her role as Jane Burnham in American Beauty.
With the box office flop Dungeons & Dragons, her filmography took a detour.
However, she managed to bounce back and find the perfect part for her as Enid in 2001’s Ghost World.
The film, based on Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel, helped launch Scarlett Johansson’s career and was a box office success.