Hocus Pocus hails as a Halloween classic, a film many watch annually as soon as October arrives. Given how beloved the Disney movie has become, it’s no wonder fans are eager to learn more about its long-awaited sequel. Disney announced Hocus Pocus 2 in May 2021, almost three decades after the original film hit theaters. Production is currently underway on the project, but where is the Hocus Pocus cast filming?
The Sanderson Sisters will return in ‘Hocus Pocus 2’
Given Hocus Pocus’ less-than-optimal performance at the box office when it came out, most fans had long given up on getting a sequel. However, with the film gaining so much traction in recent years, Disney announced Hocus Pocus 2. The second movie will arrive on Disney+ in Fall 2022. That means fans can watch two adventures involving the Sanderson Sisters next Halloween. And yes, Disney’s beloved witches are returning.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy will reprise their roles as Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson, respectively. It makes sense the stars from the original film will return for the sequel. After all, the witches can be summoned in just about any time period. And according to a press release from Disney, a new set of teens will inadvertently bring the Sanderson Sisters back to Salem:
“In Hocus Pocus 2, three young women accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to modern-day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.”
Despite Hocus Pocus 2‘s Salem setting, the Disney sequel isn’t actually being filmed there. So, what location provides the backdrop for the second movie?
Where is ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ being filmed?
Production on Hocus Pocus 2 is currently underway. According to the Boston Globe, the cast will film the entire project in Rhode Island. Recently released set images confirm as much, showing the beginnings of construction happening at Chase Farms.
Steven Feinberg, executive director of the Rhode Island Film & Television Office, also told The CW38 that the sequel will film at the Cranston Street Armory:
“The Cranston Street Armory is very spacious; it’s got very high ceilings, it’s open space… Because of its height ability, it gives an opportunity for a few of those witches to fly around. Disney has paid for intensive cleanup of the facility. They’ve added carpets, some mold removal. They’re also paying for all the utilities, so the state doesn’t have to pay the utilities. It’s a very net gain for the state of Rhode Island.”
New England locations like Rhode Island certainly provide the aesthetic a film like Hocus Pocus benefits from. However, the original shot the majority of its scenes exactly where it took place: in Salem, Mass.
The original Disney movie was filmed in Salem, Mass.
The Rhode Island backdrop for Hocus Pocus 2 diverges from the original, which used Salem, Mass. as its primary filming location. Per IMDb, Disney shot Hocus Pocus “over the course of five months in Salem, Mass.” The creators utilized several other locations as well. However, it seems the original strived to capture the film’s setting by placing its cast and crew there.
It’s unclear why the creatives behind the Disney sequel chose a different shooting location this time around. According to the Providence Journal, they secured permits for a controlled fire. Perhaps such a thing would have proved more difficult to acquire in Salem. Either that, or they simply wanted a change of pace from the original.
Whatever the reason, the Hocus Pocus sequel will likely look a bit different from the first film anyway. Its present-day setting will make sure of that.
Hocus Pocus 2 debuts on Disney+ in Fall 2022.
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