Every October, Freeform fills the month with Halloween-themed movies, and the one that’s aired more than any other is 1993’s Hocus Pocus. That just happens to be the theme of Freeform’s 25th Anniversary special that will be reuniting original stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy and, now (as revealed in the video below), Bette Midler.
The official synopsis of Hocus Pocus offers, “After moving to Salem, MA, teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.”
Airing on Saturday, Oct. 20, the special — titled Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash — celebrates the film by not only bringing together its three leading ladies of witchery, but also Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Doug Jones, Amanda Shepherd, Larry Bagby, Jason Marsden, and Tobias Jelinek. And the reunion doesn’t just include faces from in front of the camera; there are behind the scenes personnel returning as well, including writers Mick Garris and David Kirschner, and director Kenny Ortega. Performers during the special will include Dove Cameron, PrettyMuch, and Junior New System.
As if this isn’t enough, there will be a Hocus Pocus-themed costume contest that Sharon Osbourne and daughter Kelly Osbourne will be judging. Also, before the special begins, Freeform will be airing a special edition of the movie that includes trivia, commentary, and observations keyed to specific moments. That version is called “Pop’n Knowledge.”
For years there have been rumors of a sequel to Hocus Pocus, and one person up for it would be Kenny Ortega. “Look,” he told London’s Mirror, “if Bette and Kathy and Sarah are up for it, then my hand is up. I would love nothing more. I was so entertained making the movie the first time around. They’re so fun, they’re so brilliant, they’re so talented, they had me laughing the whole time; I was really on the floor most of the time calling ‘action’ from underneath. But, yeah, if the ladies were interested and if Disney of course was interested, I’d jump at the chance to do it again. It was so much fun and it has sustained; it’s still like the number one Halloween movie every year.”
Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash airs Saturday, Oct. 20 on Freeform.