Yet Another Reboot: Disney's Haunted Mansion

News from Geek Mecca (aka Comic-con) yesterday as director Guillermo del Toro announced he would be developing a film for Disney based on the Haunted Mansion.

You may recall that Disney already did a movie called The Haunted Mansion back in 2003 with Eddie Murphy. Then again, you might not remember that, since it was a terrible film that hardly anyone liked. 

But that doesn't stop the mouse house from digging up the concept and trying again. And this time it might actually be scary. Or at least entertaining.

And (of course) it will be in 3D.

Here's what Del Toro had to say about it at Comic-con yesterday:

"I went to Disneyland the first time when I was three years old, and I was a lump of fat about this big. And I fortunately was there the year the mansion opened, and I’ve been there every year at least once for the rest of my life. It’s one of those places that I go to… Literally, that’s how freaky I am, unfortunately.


This is a place where I go to when I need to think, when I need to relax and unwind. When we were going through the worst process of Mimic in 1997, we were doing post in Los Angeles and I would go on the weekend and ride it over and over again.

And to me, my man cave, my little house that I have… I have my own Haunted Mansion room with the gargoyles, the wallpaper, original art by Marc Davis, and so on and so forth. And I always felt that the Haunted Mansion told such stories without having to be done solely as a horror film. I thought that the clash or the poignancy of Claude Coates, Rolly, and Marc Davis created a unique flavor for the Mansion.

I would love to say we are doing the movie, it’s live-action. It is going to be in 3D. And we’re making the Haunted Mansion the most haunted place on Earth. And we are doing it by being true to the spirit and the art and the aesthetic of the original Imagineers that created the mansion.


We are not returning Eddie Murphy’s calls.


[laughter]

And we are not making it a comedy. We are making it into an e-ticket ride. We are going to make it scary and fun at the same time. But the scary will be scary. And to me, the mansion has to become the haunted house movie that a generation remembers and loves after being created by us. We are doing this by reintroducing… the mythology in the mansion will be done, and this is really for the hardcore fans, it is going to be created around the character we are reintroducing into the tale. And it is my biggest hope that we can reintroduce it right. And that is the Hatbox Ghost.

I always loved his image. I think he is one of the scariest creations, but he is also incredibly whimsical. What I decided was, in the talks with Disney, that this would be the pivotal character to reintroduce the mythology. And I said, please, this is going to be scary. If you take the children, they will scream. But we hope that happens.

And it’s a litmus test of character. This, to me, is a dream come true, and I hope to steal as many props as possible."





"Millions of people from around the world visit The Haunted Mansion each year, but no one has ever had a tour guide like Guillermo del Toro, said Rich Ross, the Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.  "Guillermo is one of the most gifted and innovative filmmakers working today and he is going to take audiences on a visually-thrilling journey like they’ve never experienced before."


No info on a release date, but we're sure to be hearing more about this project in the future. Stay tuned.

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