Guillermo del Toro surprised Comic-Con attendees on Thursday, July 22, with the announcement that he was teaming up with Disney to produce a new film version of “The Haunted Mansion.”
The Oscar-winning director claimed a special affection for Disneyland and the Mansion, located in the park’s New Orleans square, saying he first attended the park at the age of 3, was there the year the Haunted Mansion opened and had visited the Mansion at least once a year since. “This is a place I go when I need to think,” he went on to say, “when I need to relax and unwind.”
Not only will del Toro direct the film, but he’ll also write the live-action, 3D adventure. “We’re making the Haunted Mansion the most haunted place on Earth,” he shared. “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.”
This definitely won’t be the comedy that Eddie Murphy brought to theaters in 2003. Instead, del Toro claims his interpretation will be the “haunted house movie that a generation remembers and loves.” He’ll bring that vision to life by reintroducing the Hatbox Ghost, an image del Toro finds scary and yet incredibly whimsical.
With 999 ghosts inhabiting the mansion, del Toro shouldn’t have any trouble creating the movie he’s envisioning. “This is going to be scary,” he promised. “If you take the children, they will scream. But we hope that happens.”
There’s no word yet on when filming will begin or the movie is expected to be released.