Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride is getting another adaptation that boasts a star-studded cast, and there’s already been plenty of info revealed about the latest big-screen adaptation of the spooky Disneyworld attraction. The 2003 adaptation, starring Eddie Murphy, was panned by critics for its lack of imagination and underwhelming humor. While it is yet to be seen whether the new Haunted Mansion will truly tread a different path from its predecessor, the film has been showing some positive developments lately. Theme parks and movies have had a long-standing relationship. In fact, a surprisingly large number of Disney movies are based on theme park rides.
It will be interesting to see how Disney will attempt to rise above the pitfalls of the first adaptation. A new Haunted Mansion movie has been long in the works, as it was initially confirmed to be in development all the way back in 2010, with Guillermo del Toro attached. However, del Toro backed out of the Haunted Mansion reboot in 2013, instead remaining on as co-writer and executive producer. However, del Toro’s version was mired in development hell, and in 2020, Katie Dippold signed on to pen the new script. Justin Simien (Dear White People) came on to Haunted Mansion as director in 2021, and the rest is history.
The Latest Haunted Mansion News
The latest Haunted Mansion reboot update includes some exciting new footage in the form of the new trailer. Disney unveiled the second trailer for the movie highlighting the spooky action of the movie, the light sense of humor, and the exciting cast. It also gave audiences the first glimpse at what appears to be the main villain of the movie, the Hatbox Ghost (Jared Leto). It’s certainly helped to build anticipation for when Haunted Mansion arrives in June, and clearly distinguishes it from the less-than-fondly remember 2003 version.
Other recent news might give audiences a little comfort that this new version will not repeat the mistakes of the past. When speaking about the approach of the movie, director Justin Simien claimed there was extensive detail into deciding how best to depict the famous mansion. However, Simien also admitted that the looked at the Eddie Murphy version of The Haunted Mansion to see where the whole thing could “go awry.” This was a notable break from the way many directors talk of past franchise installments when rebooting an IP, even when it’s one without a solid track record.
Certainly, the 2003 Haunted Mansion movie was not the hit Disney was hoping for following the success of their theme park-turned-movie Pirates of the Caribbean. Hearing Simien acknowledging that the 2003 version wasn’t a success, instead of placing it on a pedestal as the spiritual precursor to his own movie as he could have done, was an incredibly positive sign of things to come — one that the trailer for Haunted Mansion followed up on a few days later.
Haunted Mansion Release Date
The Haunted Mansion release date was recently moved up and will now be hitting theaters on July 28th, 2023, rather than the original August 11th, 2023 slot. This isn’t the first time that the Haunted Mansion release date has changed, as the film was initially projected to come out in March 2023, but that was later pushed back to the aforementioned August date. The reason that Haunted Mansion has been pushed up has to do with delays on The Marvels, which will now be in theaters on November 10th, 2023.
Haunted Mansion has subsequently taken over The Marvels’ old release spot, meaning that viewers won’t have to wait nearly as long to see what Disney has cooked up. When it comes to its streaming release dates, Disney has made no official announcements yet. However, if it follows the trend of other Disney movies, Haunted Mansion will likely be available on Disney+ a few weeks after its theatrical release.
Haunted Mansion Cast
Many Hollywood A-listers have been signed on for Disney’s Haunted Mansion cast with the promise of some fun cameos as well. Rosario Dawson (Ahsoka) will play a single mother named Gabbie who owns the haunted house and seeks the help of paranormal investigator Ben, played by Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out) as a paranormal investigator. The main cast also includes Owen Wilson (Cars) as a priest named Kent, Danny DeVito (Batman Returns) as a wacky professor, and Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) as Harriet.
According to the director Jeremy Simien (via EW), Jared Leto (Morbius) will play the Hatbox Ghost, who is among one of the many creatures that appear on the Magic Kingdom ride. Simien described the character as “menacing and terrifying” with a combination of physical and digital aspects. Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) will take on the role of Madame Leota. She appears in a crystal ball and is one of Haunted Mansion‘s several ghost characters. Haunted Mansion cast members in undisclosed roles include Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice), Hassan Minhaj (The Daily Show), and Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek).
Haunted Mansion Story: How Will It Adapt The Disney Ride?
Guillermo del Toro was initially signed on to write and produce Haunted Mansion when the movie was first announced in 2010. However, when the auteur submitted his script in 2013, it was deemed too scary, and that is when Ghostbusters writer, Katie Dippold, was taken onboard to write a new script. The early changes in Haunted Mansion‘s script suggest that Disney wants the movie to be family-friendly despite the horror aesthetics, just like Eddie Murphy’s version.
While most other details surrounding the movie’s themes and storylines are under the covers, its official plot reveals that it will revolve around a single mom named Gabbie and her 9-year-old son who, unbeknownst to them, move into a haunted mansion in New Orleans. Soon, as the terrors of the titular Haunted Mansion story begin to surface, they seek help from a historian, a priest, a psychic, and a paranormal investigator. The movie’s trailer shows that the new Haunted Mansion, like the Murphy version, adapts a number of hallmarks from the original attraction, including the famous stretching room. However, director Jeremy Simien also revealed there may be several haunted locations in this version of Haunted Mansion.
Haunted Mansion Trailer
Disney released the second Haunted Mansion trailer offering audiences a deeper glimpse into the movie adaptation of the beloved theme park attraction. The new trailer suggests LaKeith Stanfield’s Ben will be the main character as he is seen as a reluctant and skeptical hero who proves to be outmatched by the house’s haunted spirits. Jared Leto’s Hatbox Ghost also appears to be a prominent threat, and perhaps the main villain, and he’s almost unrecognizable in the heavily CGI role. All things considered, Haunted Mansion looks to be a big-budget summer blockbuster with plenty of action and CGI spectacle to wow family audiences. If it’s received as well as Disney hopes, it could just be the movie that turns the Haunted Mansion franchise into the tent pole property it was intended to be back in 2003.