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Hocus Pocus 2 star Doug Jones says when he first arrived on set, it was as though Elvis had risen from the dead

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When the cult classic Hocus Pocus was filming, actor Doug Jones, who plays kindhearted-ish zombie Billy Butcherson, remembers being intimidated to be working with stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. It was still early in his career — he only had a handful of credits over five years — so he simply felt lucky to be there.



Things were a little different when the same cast members filmed Hocus Pocus 2, which landed on Disney+ Sept. 30, 29 years-plus years after the original hit theaters.


"When the Sanderson sisters arrived on the set filming Hocus Pocus 2 last year, it was as though the Beatles had returned," Jones tells Yahoo Entertainment. "When Billy Butcherson showed up on the set for the first day, it was as though Elvis had risen from the dead. Our crew, everyone in every department, were these youngish [people] — anywhere from their 20s to their 40s — who had come up with the original Hocus Pocus movie, have been fans of it all these years, and now they're getting to work on a sequel. And these original characters are coming back looking exactly the same."


There were a lot of people working on the production who asked for selfies.


It's part of the "lovely evolution" Jones has seen happen over the decades since the movie was released in July — not even September or October — of 1993 to modest box office returns. Jones first noticed it on the fan convention scene. He's attended them for 15 years because of his well-earned reputation as a creature man, thanks to his work not only in the Disney movie, but because of the sometimes scary, sometimes scaly characters he's played in projects such as The Shape of Water; the Hellboy movies; Pan's Labyrinth; Star Trek: Discovery and What We Do in the Shadows.


"When I started, people would look at the pictures on my table and say, 'Oh' and they would point to Billy Butcherson. They'd say, 'Oh, yeah, I remember him. That was you?'... And they would get another picture of mine from something else," Jones says. "That has evolved into Billy Butcherson is now a top seller."


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