Thora Birch really wanted to return for Hocus Pocus 2.
The actress, who played 8-year-old Dani Dennison in the original film 29 years ago, said there were plans to bring her character back for the highly-anticipated sequel, but due to timing, things didn't work out. "There were three options we had for how to bring Dani back, all of which I was excited by," she revealed. "By the time they got around to filming, I was already on something else."
Earlier this year, while filming Lifetime movie The Gabby Petito Story, Birch said that she was "just a little dismayed" she was unable to make filming Hocus Pocus 2 work. If it hadn't been for scheduling conflicts, "I was definitely going to be there on set with the girls."
Birch isn't the only member of the original cast not to appear in the sequel; Omri Katz and Vinessa Shaw, who played the other young leads in Hocus Pocus, are also absent from Hocus Pocus 2. Even so, there's no bad blood for Birch. "I’m excited for the fans who have been begging for Hocus Pocus 2 for years," she said. "So yeah, I’ll be watching along with everybody else."
Hocus Pocus 2 is now streaming on Disney+.
Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.