Back in 2010, Guillermo del Toro was attached to write, produce, and possibly also direct the remake of The Haunted Mansion. It was the perfect fit: He’d always loved the ride, and collected memorabilia from it. His version was supposed to be appropriately scary, instead of a comedy like the 2003 movie starring Eddie Murphy. But for unspecified reasons, del Toro didn’t get to make his Hat Box Ghost-focused film. Instead, Disney decided to go a very different direction for the remake, with Justin Simien directing and writing it, and Owen Wilson, LaKeith Stanfield, and Tiffany Haddish co-starring.
But The Haunted Mansion is just one of many movies that del Toro wrote a script for that didn’t materialize into an actual movie. In a tweet, a fan named Kaleb Wilson asked del Toro and other filmmakers how many screenplays they’ve written for movies that never got made. Del Toro replied, “By my count I have written or co-written around 33 screenplay features. 2-3 made by others, 11 made by me (Pinocchio in progress) so- about 20 screenplays not filmed. Each takes 6-10 months of work, so, roughly 16 years gone. Just experience and skill improvement.”
As IndieWire reported, in addition to the Haunted Mansion, his other unused scripts are: The Witches, Justice League Dark, Beauty And The Beast, At The Mountains Of Madness, Fantastic Voyage, The Count Of Monte Cristo, Mephisto’s Bridge, Pacific Rim 2, an untitled secret project, Superstitious, Nightmare Alley, The Buried Giant, The Coffin, Drood, List of 7 (co-written with Mark Frost), and Wind In The Willows. Some of these movies still had del Toro involved in their production, like The Witches remake, that was produced by del Toro but was written and directed by Robert Zemeckis. Pacific Rim: Uprising also had del Toro as one of its producers.
There are so many of these scripts written by the Oscar-winning filmmaker that we’re very curious about. Del Toro could’ve turned the live-action Beauty And The Beast movie into something far more fascinating than the formulaic remakes of animated Disney classics. Also, del Toro spent so much time trying to make the At The Mountains Of Madness adaptation that maybe there’s still some hope it could be made. Or maybe he’ll leak these scripts at some point, so we’ll all know what could’ve been.