Lots of LGBTQ people love Disney’s 1993 horror comedy Hocus Pocus, maybe because it stars gay icon Bette Midler, or maybe just because they’re just tired of watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown every Halloween. Either way, queer Hocus Pocus fans might love the film even more after realizing the upcoming Hocus Pocus sequel might feature a same-sex romance.
Disney announced its intention to make a Hocus Pocus sequel in September 2017, but fans had some misgivings, especially since it’ll only be a TV movie instead of a full-fledged film, and it won’t feature Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy or any of the first film’s actors reprising their roles.
But it looks like the Hocus Pocus sequel might be based on a recently released Disney-authorized young adult novel called Hocus Pocus and The All-New Sequel. The novel, which was released on July 10, features Poppy and Isabella, a heroic female duo involved in a romantic subplot.
Poppy is the daughter of Allison and Max, the heroes from the first film, and Isabella is a popular girl at school who has a deep interest in the Sanderson sisters, the witchy trio who bedevils modern-day Salem in the original Hocus Pocus.
Poppy totally has feelings for Isabella, and her feelings aren’t subtle. They’re right on the page. Consider this brief excerpt from the book:
“Well, I wouldn’t miss it.” Isabella gives me a smile that makes my stomach flip a little. “There’s no way I’d leave you hanging.”
“It’s not fair that you’re so nice.” I take another piece of pizza. “People aren’t supposed to be smart and popular and nice. What’s your weakness, Isabella Richards?”
Her smile flags a little, and for a second she looks mystified — but then it’s gone. “Halloween candy,” she says, matter-of-factly, then grins and takes another sip of soda.
Furthermore, the protagonist trio from the recently released novel is also comprised of two people of color. So if the Hocus Pocus sequel stays true to the book, it’ll be one of Disney’s most diverse live-action films, and the studio’s first ever to feature a same-sex romance.
Granted, there’s always a chance that Disney won’t base the Hocus Pocus sequel on the book, or that it will remove the same-sex romance, just like when it cut the gay kiss from the TV film adaptation of Descendants 2.
But if Disney does include a same-sex romance in the Hocus Pocus sequel, it could make the film instantly beloved by queer viewers and possibly lay the groundwork for an eventual LGBTQ character in one of Disney’s upcoming animated films.