Hocus Pocus 2 nearly brought most of the original film's coven of child stars back together, according to screenwriter Jen D'Angelo.
While Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy all returned to terrorize Salem as the beloved Sanderson Sisters in last year's Disney+ sequel, many fans were disappointed that, as EW exclusively revealed at the time, OG actors Omri Katz (Max), Vinessa Shaw (Allison), Thora Birch (Dani), Jay (Tobias Jelinek), and Ice (Larry Bagby) would not reprise their roles in the second film. D'Angelo now tells EW she had them in mind while drafting the project, and even included them in select scenes in early versions of the screenplay.
Disney+ Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Larry Bagby, and Tobias Jelinek in 'Hocus Pocus'
"There was a version where Max had a cameo," D'Angelo explains. "We love these characters so much and they're so iconic that if we do see them, we want them to really have a reason for being in the story, not just to be able to see them and check it off the list." She adds that the scene she wrote featured Max "very briefly" and saw him "able to have one quick moment with the Sanderson Sisters" after a new group of teens resurrected them on Halloween night.
D'Angelo calls cutting the Max cameo "a very tough decision," and she feels the same way about nixed cameos from Jay and Ice, the bullies who steal Max's shoes in the first film.
"There was also a version where Jay and Ice came back, because I have such a soft spot for them. I find them very emotional also. Even though they're these cartoonish bullies, they're sweet. They get a real punishment at the end: they're locked in the cages for how long? They've been humbled," she recalls, setting the tone for what she would've had them do in Hocus Pocus 2. "One of the jokes that naturally had to fall out that I was so sad to lose was that Ice and Jay were handing out candy, and they saw the Sanderson Sisters fly past. You think they're going to jump in and save the day, but they immediately run and hide because they're cowards."
Disney + Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy in 'Hocus Pocus 2'
D'Angelo is currently at work developing a story for Hocus Pocus 3 and remains optimistic that we'll see the Sanderson Sisters return in adult form in some capacity. She also tells EW she wants to see more of Hannah Waddingham's mother witch, who briefly appeared as an all-powerful sorceress in the sequel's prologue.
"Those original characters are still very much a part of this world," D'Angelo adds. "I hope we'll see them."
EW has reached out to Disney for comment.
"Yes, I would return if Disney approached me," he said at the time. "It would be an honor to return, hopefully with some of my fellow castmates, and make a fun addition to the franchise!"
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