Thora Birch Reveals Why She Didn’t Return for ‘Hocus Pocus 2’

Thora Birch Hocus Pocus
Chelsea Guglielmino/FilmMagic;Buena Vista/Everett Collection

After 30 years of fans clamoring for a sequel, the much-anticipated sequel to Hocus Pocus has arrived, but although there are a few returning faces, Thora Birch, who played child Dani Dennison in the original, wasn’t able to reprise her role.

The actress is now opening up about her absence, sharing that several attempts were made to have Dani Dennison return for Hocus Pocus 2.

“There were three options we had for bringing Dani back, all of which I was excited by,” Birch tells ET Online. But, “by the time they got around to filming, I was already on something else.” Earlier in the year, while on the set of her Lifetime film The Gabby Petito Story, Birch told ET Online, at the time, “I was working on something else when they were filming … otherwise I was definitely going to be there on set with the girls.”

Fortunately, Birch has no ill-will towards the sequel, stating that she plans to stream the film on Disney +. “I’m excited for the fans who have been begging for Hocus Pocus 2 for years,” she says. “So yeah, I’ll be watching along with everybody else.” She concludes by saying the first film “holds such a special place in my heart.”

Hocus Pocus 2 reunites Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson sisters, a trio of resurrected witches. In the original 1993 film, Dani Dennison was one of the children alongside her brother Max (played by Omri Katz, also not in the sequel) involved in the witch’s misadventures following their return to Salem, Massachusetts.

Hocus Pocus 2, Premieres Friday, September 30, Disney+