Olivia Riportella ’25
Get ready, Friartown, because spooky season is here. While Rhode Island always offers a number of eerie festivities to get people in the Halloween spirit, this year brings a unique way for locals to get in the spooky mood: the iconic 1993 film Hocus Pocus has begun filming a sequel at La Salle Academy in Providence, RI.
According to the Providence Journal, shoots for the production began as recently as Monday, Oct. 18. Cameras could be seen rolling on the grounds of La Salle as well as inside the building, even during the school day. Many extras in the film are being played by Rhode Island locals.
Governor Dan McKee has weighed in on the film, saying that he is “proud and honored” that “our beautiful state, with its unique scenery, landscapes, and local talent, will be the backdrop for a major motion picture.” The production of the sequel is expected to help boost Rhode Island’s economy, which suffered a hard hit during the pandemic.
The Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, Steven Feinberg, also spoke enthusiastically about the production, stating: “We are very excited to welcome Disney and their talented team to the Ocean State to create the next chapter of the popular and highly anticipated sequel, Hocus Pocus 2.”
He added, “We are particularly grateful to Walt Disney Productions for providing good paying jobs for many local artists and hard-working technicians from across Rhode Island. Collaboration is key to the art of cinema and we look forward to helping the Hocus Pocus 2 team produce movie magic here in the Ocean State!”
News of a sequel to the beloved movie has created much anticipation among fans and the public at large. Indeed, with iconic actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy returning to the big screen in their havoc-wreaking roles of the witchy Sanderson sisters, the expectations for Hocus Pocus 2 are incredibly high.
This time around, the Sanderson witches are accidentally brought back into present-day Salem by three young women. The movie will portray the girls attempting to stop the child-hungry sisters and their mayhem. The director of the new film is Anne Fletcher, who announced that she is “so grateful to be able to play a part in bringing these witches back to life.” She explained, “Now more than ever, people need to laugh. We should be laughing every day, and there is so much fun to be had with these three unbelievable women playing delicious characters from such a beloved film.”
Details about the film are still being kept under wraps, but fans hope to find out more as production continues. Hocus Pocus 2 will continue filming in RI at locations in Providence and Lincoln until the end of the year, and is expected to make its much-anticipated debut on Disney+ in the fall of 2022.