Disney Taking Another Shot at the ‘Haunted Mansion’ Movie
Oscar nominee LaKeith Stanfield and comedian Tiffany Haddish are in talks to star in Haunted Mansion, Disney’s new movie based on one of the company’s signature rides of the same name.
The Haunted Mansion ride first debuted at Disneyland in 1969. Guests were taken through a terrifying manor filled with ghosts, ghouls, and various undead residents, designed to frighten them. It was also the only attraction in which Disney employees were encouraged not to smile.
Justin Simien, who previously helmed Dear White People and the horror film Bad Hair, is making his big-budget studio debut directing this Disney project with Katie Dippold, best known for 2016's Ghostbusters, penning the script.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie is about a family who moves into the eponymous mansion. Stanfield will star as the widower who once believed in the supernatural but is now a rather lifeless tour guide in the New Orleans’ French Quarter.
Meanwhile, Haddish will star as the psychic hired to commune with the dead.
The project will shoot in Louisiana this fall, and it is the latest from the studio to be adapted from one of its theme park attractions.
2003’s The Haunted Mansion
Disney previously adapted the ride into a movie in 2003, which failed to live up to expectations and performed average at the box office. Nevertheless, it grossed nearly $200 million, a third of what the first Pirates of the Caribbean made.
The movie follows realtors Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) and Sara Evers (Marsha Thomason), who are called for at the Gracey Manor, a spooky estate deep in Louisiana’s bayou country,
However, they soon realize that the estate is not what it seems. Once there, they encounter a cast of ghostly residents, including the footman, Ezra (Wallace Shawn), and Madame Leota (Jennifer Tilly), a floating head in a crystal ball.
The new and improved Haunted Mansion will not be connected to the 2003 film.
Disney’s Other Similar Adaptations
Over the years, Disney has released many movies inspired by its theme park attractions.
But The undisputed champs of the movie-based-on-a-Disney-theme-park-attraction subgenre is probably Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and its four sequels (and counting).
The movie is ranked as the 14th highest-grossing franchise in film history, with a total worldwide box office of $4.5 billion.
The movie included well-known iconographies from the original theme park attraction - the swashbuckling roguish lead character Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and heavy supernatural elements that brought the scares and excitement.
The film series became just as beloved as the theme park attraction it was based upon.
Another popular adaptation is Tomorrowland, based on the fantastic, futuristic section of Disney’s castle parks, which opened in 1955.
It is the only movie to have ever acknowledged Walt Disney and be filmed inside Disneyland and Walt Disney’s World’s Magic Kingdom.