As Jungle Cruise pulls up to the theater and VOD shores, the Mouse House is already plundering Disney theme parks for their next ride-based movie. The Haunted Mansion has long been in Disney’s sights for an adaptation, even going so far as to actually making a version in 2003. Now, Disney is tapping Justin Simien (Dear White People) to direct a newer, faster, cooler version.
Disney is in talks with Tiffany Haddish and LaKeith Stanfield to star in the film. Katie Dippold, best known for her collaborations with Paul Feig on The Heat and 2016’s Ghostbusters, and more importantly, the single best tweet of all time, will write the script. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The story will follow a family that moves into the titular mansion. Stanfield would play a widower who once believed in the supernatural but is now a rather lifeless tour guide in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Haddish would play a psychic hired to commune with the dead.”
Apparently, this new and improved Haunted Mansion will bear no connection to the 2003 film starring Eddie Murphy. Released just a few months after the blockbuster success of Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, Rob Minkoff’s The Haunted Mansion failed to live up to expectations. Though the film grossed nearly $200 million, the film made only a third of the first Pirates.
Disney has been attempting to reboot the franchise since 2010. One of the more interesting turns in the story, though, was when Guillermo del Toro began developing a version that focused on The Hatbox Ghost, one of the more infamous effects from the ride. “For some people, it’s just a ride, but for others like me, it’s a way of life. We’re serious fanatics. I’m a big, big collector of it,” Guillermo del Toro said at the time. “I’ve been collecting not only memorabilia but artifacts and original artifacts from the mansion for the past 10 years.”
“It’s such a great character that there’s literally — amongst Haunted Mansion fanatics, the hardcore ones — a cult for the Hat Box Ghost. You can Google it, it’s pretty intense, and I am one of them.”