Back in 2003, after the success of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl, Disney released another film based on a popular Disneyland attraction, The Haunted Mansion.
The film, starring Eddie Murphy, Terrence Stamp, Jennifer Tilly — and directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) — opened to poor critical and audience reviews, and never garnered the same box office success as Pirates; only making $174 million worldwide.
It was announced that original Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro would be writing and producing a new movie based on The Haunted Mansion.
When asked about his involvement del Toro said, ‘The thing I want to do is remake it… The movie I see in my head of Haunted Mansion is not, I believe, what everyone is imagining it to be.
“It’s not just a regular world with a Haunted Mansion plopped in the middle,” he explained. “I really am thinking of a movie that has a heightened reality.”
Del Toro also said the fan-favorite “Hatbox Ghost” would be the main haunting and added, “We are not making it a comedy.
“We are making it scary and fun at the same time, but the scary will be scary.”
In 2012, when speaking with Collider, del Toro said he submitted a final draft to Disney and that “They like the screenplay… their reaction to the draft was good.”
Del Toro also said he would be writing and producing the film and that Disney was waiting on del Toro for a confirmation to direct or not.
In 2015, Variety reported that Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, La La Land) was in talks to star in the film with D.V. DeVincentis (High Fidelity) working on the script.
That same report stated that del Toro would also direct.
So, what’s happened since then?
GDT went on to direct Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak, and The Shape of Water, Which earned Del Toro a Best Director Oscar, not to mention the countless films and TV series he’s producing and at least ten other projects he attached to direct in the future.
And del Toro has offered little, regarding updates about The Haunted Mansion; at least via social media.
So, what do I think should happen next?
- Disney should push to work with del Toro in some capacity on this project. A director I would like to see helm the film is Gil Kenan, who directed the 2015 remake of Poltergeist – a PG-13 movie that still had a nice amount of scares. Kenan also led 2006’s Monster House (an animated film with scares, adventure, and fun).
- Beyond Gosling, another actor that I would look to involve is Andy Serkis. Outside of his amazing Motion Capture performances as Caeser in the Apes franchise and Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Serkis is a strong actor with amazing performances in The Prestige and more. He also has an established working relationship with Disney as he was in the MCU as Black Panther villain Ulysses Klaw and in a “galaxy far, far away” as Supreme Leader Snoke
. Inshort, Serkis is a chameleon that would fit the project perfectly.
And, I can tell you this, I have heard from some very solid sources that Disney is expecting to make news on this project official at next years D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. With a possible production start date in late 2019 or Early 2020.
As far as ride-based Disney movies, the market remains viable.
Last year, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales made over $750 million at the worldwide box office. Pirates 6 already in early development.
Up next is Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. That project hits theaters October 11, 2019.
So, stay with DSNY Newscast, as we hope to bring you more news on this project as it breaks.
But tell us: Would you wait in line for a Haunted Mansion reboot?