The Disney Channel is officially in the process of remaking the beloved Halloween cult classic Hocus Pocus, but one of the stars of the original is not happy about it. Bette Midler, who played Winifred Sanderson, says the reboot will be “cheap,” and it will be tough to recast her popular character.
The original 1993 film starred Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson sisters, who are three witches accidentally resurrected in Salem, but the “reimagining” will have an entirely new cast and director.
Per Deadline, the TV movie is in the early stages of development, and David Kirschner (who produced the original film) will serve as Executive Producer on the project. Scarlett Lacy will write the script, instead of original screenwriters Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris; and original director Kenny Ortega will not be a part of the new film.
— pollyd (@TheDesignerd) November 1, 2017
Parker said in 2016 that she would love to be in a sequel, as did her co-stars, but there hadn’t been any “groundswell of movement.” So, instead of another story about the Sanderson sisters, the studio opted to remake the original.
According to Vanity Fair, rumors of a remake or sequel have swirled for years (with Midler once joking that a new film took so long because Disney couldn’t find a virgin). But, the reboot will feature a completely new cast, presumably because a TV movie project couldn’t afford the salaries of the original trio of actresses.
It is not clear if Najimy or Parker will make a cameo, but Midler made it clear that she is not interested in making an appearance for any dollar amount.
Disney Channel's Hocus Pocus remake makes Winifred Sanderson sick: "It's going to be cheap!" https://t.co/pcBrF4M3fw
— E! News (@enews) October 31, 2017
Entertainment Weekly reports that Midler isn’t confident the new producers will be able to recast her role, saying, “I’m not sure what they’re going to do with my character. [Winifred] is very, very broad and I don’t know who they’re going to find to play that.”
The Divine Miss M recently made the comments about the new Hocus Pocus while at the New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) Hulaween Party, which she hosted.
The NYRP is an organization that works to make the city greener. The annual bash combines Halloween and environmental focus.