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Welcome to Rumor Has It, Player Affinity’s weekly roundup of highly buzzed-about movie rumors circulating throughout Tinseltown. On this week’s docket, we have rumors about a Hocus Pocus sequel and the film adaptation of Miss Saigon.
Is Disney making a sequel to Hocus Pocus?
Disney is no stranger when it comes to fantasy, but the Salem witch trials maybe not so much. Well, that's exactly what happened with Kenny Ortega’s Hocus Pocus. The fantasy film stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker and made around $40 million during its initial run.
Adjust that number for inflation, and you have about $75 million – not bad for a movie that was once set to be a special production for The Disney Channel. “Pocus” has become a cult classic since its release, and now Moviehole has learned that the Mouse House hopes to give it a sequel, currently titled Hocus Pocus 2: Rise of the Elderwitch. According to /Film, however, a spokesperson for Disney denies that such a movie will be made.
If the rumor holds true, Disney hopes to have the film out next year, but there aren’t too many additional details about the rumored project. If “Elderwitch” is being made at all, it’s still very early in its development, and there’s no word on whether or not Ortega, Midler, Najimy, or Parker will return, or if it will be a big-screen endeavor.
Will American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez lead Miss Saigon?
We don’t see musicals too often, but there have been talks of bringing Miss Saigon to the silver screen for quite some time. The Broadway musical tells “a tragic tale of doomed love between a Vietnamese prostitute [named Kim] and an American G.I. [named Christopher Scott] in Saigon during the Vietnam War.”
We last heard about this possible adaptation of the Broadway musical almost three years ago, but there finally seems to be some movement on “Saigon” for the first time since then, as Broadway.com brings to light a rumor that American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez might lead the film as Kim.
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire director Lee Daniels expressed interest in “Saigon” back in 2009, but he begins shooting the fact-based drama The Butler with Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey later this month. Without any timetable for this movie musical at present, it's still possible Daniels could direct once he wraps on The Butler.
Even if this rumor is true, Sanchez isn’t the only one up for the part, as pop singer Charice and actress Anna Maria Perez de Tagle have also been mentioned as possibilities to lead “Saigon.” Both talents have proven musical prowess and boast film experience, whereas Sanchez only fits the first of those two. Charice appeared in the musical-comedy series Glee and makes her feature-film debut in the Kevin James-led comedy Here Comes the Boom later this year (hey, it’s something), and de Tagle’s credits include the remake of the music-tinged drama Fame and the Disney Channel musical Camp Rock.
Sanchez will make her screen-acting debut in several episodes of the aforementioned Glee later this year, but she still seems to have more buzz for “Saigon” than Charice and de Tagle. A hopeful actress making her cinematic debut in a big-budget musical might seem risky, but Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Hudson – the latter getting her big break on “Idol” like Sanchez – won Oscars for their turns in Funny Girl and Dreamgirls, both of which were major box-office hits.