Steven Spielberg was reportedly upset that he didn’t get the chance to do Hocus Pocus. Hawks Boxes is a 1993 Disney movie starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimi, Thora Birch and Omri Katz. The film centers on Max, his little sister Danny, and their new friend Alison as they accidentally free a trio of evil witches who must be stopped before they gain immortality. Many consider the film a classic childhood movie, but it wasn’t a huge hit upon its release.
Hocus Pocus co-creator and producer David Kirchner got his big break with the 1986 animated movie An American Tail, which follows a young Russian rat who is separated from his family while immigrating to the United States, setting him on travels to find them. Spielberg saw the potential in An American Tail and supported its production as an executive producer. Thanks to Spielberg, An American Tail was a hit as the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film at the time, kickstarting Kirschner’s Hollywood franchise and career.
In an interview with The Wrap, Kirshner revealed that Spielberg’s production partner at the time, Kathleen Kennedy, approached him at a party and told him that she “hurt” Spielberg. Confused, Kennedy revealed that after Spielberg gave Kirchner his first movie with An American Tail, he still brought Hocus Pocus to Disney without giving it to Spielberg. The moment came as a painful realization for Kirchner, who had no evil intentions and still credits Spielberg for giving him his career. Check out Kirschner’s comments on Spielberg and Hukos Books below:
“The reason I remember it so vividly is Kathy Kennedy, who was Stephen’s production partner — and now runs George Lucas’ company, Lucasfilm — Kathy came to me at Amblin’s Christmas party and said, ‘You know, she really hurt Stephen. And I said, “What?” And I said, “What could I have done? What…” As I stumbled over my words, my wife was sitting next to me. And [Kennedy] He said, “The fact that after he gave you your first movie” — which goes with American Tail — “you didn’t even bring him the Hooks Pocus.” I went straight to Disney. Honestly, I got tears behind my eyes… This is a really painful memory As for me, I offended Stephen, to whom, as I said, I owe everything!”
Mick Garris, who co-wrote Hocus Pocus, gave a different remembrance, saying Spielberg was offered the film. However, Kirschner claims that the speech was for Disney, with Kennedy’s chilling declaration that Spielberg is so horribly engraved in his memory that he cannot be forgotten. However, despite Spielberg feeling offended by Kirschner and failing to produce Hocus Pocus, the two once again worked together as executive producers on the 1994 film The Flintstones.
Hocus Pocus now has a long-awaited sequel that will debut at Disney+ on September 30th. The film sees the return of the Sanderson sisters, with Midler, Jamie, and Parker re-enacting their roles from the original film. Kirschner is also an executive producer, although Jen D’Angelo has been tasked with scriptwriting tasks. And although Spielberg was disappointed not to take part in the original film, Hocus Pocus spared the audience who grew up with the film, who now shares it with his children and is looking forward to the sequel.
“Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator.”