Time for the dreams of a Guillermo del Toro Haunted Mansion movie to die yet again! The acclaimed filmmaker has been talking about making a Haunted Mansion movie for Disney for years, and while it looks like the House of Mouse is now ready to give a new film take on the classic attraction a try, del Toro isn’t involved. Instead, Kaie Dippold, who wrote the Ghostbuster reboot and The Heat, is tackling the script.
THR has the scoop on the new Haunted Mansion movie, stating that Katie Dippold is penning the film. THR adds that “Rideback, the banner run by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich and was behind Disney’s billion dollar-grossing Aladdin remake, is producing what is intended to be a live-action movie.” And honestly…I’m a bit disappointed here.
Nothing against Dippold. I actually liked the Ghostbusters reboot! I just had my heart set on Guillermo del Toro finally being able to make this project. Del Toro has been pushing for it for years, and while I suppose there’s always a chance he could come in and direct Dippold’s script, I have my doubts. Also, Dippold’s background in comedy suggests that Disney is going to try once again to turn a Haunted Mansion movie into something funny, and we all remember how that turned out the last time: not well.
In 2003, the same year Disney unleashed another film based on one of their rides, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, they also released a Haunted Mansion movie starring Eddie Murphy. And while Pirates would go on to make big bucks and launch a franchise, Haunted Mansion was a dud. Now it seems Disney is ready to try again, but it doesn’t sound like they learned anything from the first time. I’m not saying this should be a full-blown, ultra-scary horror movie. But taking a silly comedy approach – which seems almost guaranteed – just feels wrong.
The first Haunted Mansion ride opened in 1969, and went onto to become a big, iconic hit. There are versions of the mansion in Disneyland Park (Disneyland Resort), Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland. And while I’m by no means a theme park guy, even I will freely admit that The Haunted Mansion ride is wonderful, and I’d love to see someone make a good movie out of the material. Will that happen this time? I’m skeptical.
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