This year has seen the revival of many popular films and franchises with the return of “Top Gun” with “Top Gun: Maverick” and the conclusion of the “Jurassic World” franchise with “Jurassic World: Dominion.” With four more months left of the year, Hollywood is not done giving audiences more of their old favorites. Here are the highly-anticipated sequels coming out soon, some over a decade in the making.
“Hocus Pocus 2”
Nearly thirty years after Max and his friends defeated the child-eating Sanderson Sisters, the witch trio has been resurrected once again for a “Hocus Pocus” sequel. This time, they have been conjured by three teenage girls (Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo and Lilia Buckingham), and it is up to them to stop the outrageous witch sisters from wreaking havoc. With the original film earning cult classic Halloween movie status, fans are thrilled to see Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker together once again, this time in the 21st century where the three witches feel out of place in the modern world and are determined to destroy it. According to executive producer Adam Shankman, the reunion between the three actresses felt like no time had passed. He told Cinemablend, “[There] was nothing but giddiness. I think there was a little bit of, like, ‘Wow, are we really doing this again?’”
“Hocus Pocus” will be available to stream on Disney+ on Sept. 30.
After forty-five years of Michael Myers terrorizing Haddonfield, Illinois as well as audiences everywhere, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) will face off against him one final time. A sequel to 2021’s “Halloween Kills,” “Halloween Ends” will be the thirteenth installment in the “Halloween” franchise and the final film of the David Gordon Green-directed trilogy. The film opens with Laurie finishing writing her memoir four years after the events of “Halloween Kills” and determined to finally liberate herself from her fear of Michael. However, when a young man (Rohan Campbell) is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, Laurie is forced to confront the evil she has been haunted by her whole life. When discussing filming her final “Halloween” performance with Cinemablend, Curtis recalled watching her last shot filmed. She said, “I realized that was the last image of Laurie Strode after 44 years of portraying her. Isn’t that amazing? And it felt very satisfying. I think people are going to lose their minds.”
“Halloween Ends” will be available to watch in theaters or stream on Peacock on Oct. 1.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
In 2018, “Black Panther” made history as both the highest-grossing solo superhero movie and the highest-grossing movie by a Black director. The film, set in the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda led by King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), was not only praised for representing and celebrating Black culture but also for challenging colonialism and systemic racism. Following Chadwick Boseman’s death in 2020, it was uncertain what would happen with the sequel which had been confirmed by director Ryan Coogler in 2019. Eventually, it was decided that “Wakanda Forever” would take place after the death of King T’Challa as the kingdom, possibly led by his sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), must protect itself from invading forces. After the San Diego Comic-Con where the trailer was released, actress Danai Gurira talked to Entertainment Weekly about the development of the film. “The most important thing, of course, was honoring our brother, our leader, and our king. That was definitely at the forefront of our minds and our spirits and our hearts.”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will be released in theaters on Nov. 11.
Fifteen years ago, Amy Adams starred in “Enchanted” as Giselle, a soon-to-be princess from the whimsical animated world of Andalasia. After she is pushed down a well by the evil queen, Giselle finds herself in the real-life streets of New York City where she falls in love with Robert (Patrick Dempsey), a jaded divorce lawyer. This hilarious and endearing modern fairy tale enchanted audiences with its vibrant Oscar-nominated songs and loveable characters.
A decade and a half later, Giselle is returning with “Disenchanted” which finds her, Robert and their daughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) settling into a new home in the suburbs. Questioning her happily ever after, Giselle makes a wish that her life could be a perfect fairytale which creates chaos in both the real world and in Andalasia that she must race to repair. According to Adams, there’s a lot more singing and dancing this time around, so we can only hope that the new songs will be as catchy and fun as the first film’s showstopper, “That’s How You Know.”
“Disenchanted” will begin streaming on Disney+ on Nov. 24.
“Avatar: The Way of Water”
Despite coming out 13 years ago, James Cameron’s “Avatar” is still the highest-grossing film ever, earning about $2.85 billion worldwide. The film, which follows a paraplegic Marine, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) on his mission to a distant moon, amazed audiences and reinvented motion capture technology. Even before the original film’s release, it had always been Cameron’s plan to return to the lush world of Pandora with multiple sequels. “The Way of Water” was first announced to be released in 2014, but the motion capture technology necessary to create this underwater film had not been developed yet. Now, almost a decade later, the film will finally hit theaters, catching up with the Sully family and showcasing never before seen film technology. Cameron, a long-time lover of the ocean and advocate for its conservation, told Entertainment Weekly, “If I could combine my two greatest loves — one of which is ocean exploration; the other, feature filmmaking — why wouldn’t I?”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” will be released in theaters on Dec. 16.
By Emily Ince