For her new movie, Hocus Pocus 2, director Anne Fletcher wanted to take fans back to the deepest reaches of hell... or... at least to a very '90s living room occupied by a devilish "Master" (Garry Marshall) and his "Little Woman" wife (Penny Marshall).
The Proposal and Dumplin' helmer exclusively tells EW how she devised including a brief tribute to the filmmaking siblings in the new Disney+ movie, via a short scene that sees the resurrected Sanderson Sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) soaring past the homes of Salem citizens, only to come across a couple who's watching the Marshalls' original Hocus Pocus cameo on their TV.
Disney+ Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall make a brief appearance in 'Hocus Pocus 2.'
"I always knew I wanted to put some scene from [the] original movie on the TV, because I thought it would be fun and true to modern day Halloween, with fans always watching Hocus Pocus," Fletcher tells EW via email. "My editor, Julia [Wong] and I landed on the cameo with Garry and Penny because it's one of the funniest parts of the movie, and their characters are so beloved by everyone — including myself — that it just felt right to put Garry and Penny in this movie."
She adds that it serves as a way for fans "to remember and honor them as being a huge, important and fun part of the original" movie, "not to mention the importance of who they were in the world [and] what they gave us all during their lives. Joy, laughter, [and] happiness. Again, it just felt right."
Kristina Bumphrey/Variety via Getty Images; Disney + Anne Fletcher reveals why she included Garry and Penny Marshall tribute in 'Hocus Pocus 2.'
Speaking to EW after the film's release, star Lilia Buckingham — who appears alongside Whitney Peak and Belissa Escobedo as one of three new teens who do battle with the witches in contemporary Salem — also speculated that the scene could be more than just a cute nod to the Marshalls.
"It makes you think, did they, in the Hocus Pocus cinematic universe, make a movie about the Sanderson Sisters, and that's why they have so much lore about them and why drag queens dress up as them?" Buckingham told EW in a separate interview.
Disney+ 'Hocus Pocus 2' includes Penny and Garry Marshall costumes in the candy apple scene.
Adding to Buckingham's speculation, Fletcher and costume designer Salvador Perez also dressed two Salem townspeople (who appear in front of Tony Hale's Mayor Jefry Traske in line at the Halloween festival's candy apple stand) in outfits resembling those worn by the Marshalls' characters in the first film.
Read EW's full breakdown of Hocus Pocus 2's most memorable scenes with Peak, Escobedo, and Buckingham.
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