Jamie Lee Curtis Describes The Humor And Spookiness Of The Haunted Mansion Movie

Jamie Lee Curtis on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
(Image credit: Disney–ABC Domestic Television)

Jamie Lee Curtis is part of the cast of the Haunted Mansion reboot as Madame Leota. You may remember her as the floating crystal ball that’s part of the spooky ride in Disneyland and Disney World, as well as being played by Jennifer Tilly in 2003’s The Haunted Mansion. The Halloween star described the humor and spookiness we can expect from the upcoming Disney reboot.

The 63-year-old actress has finally finished her “satisfying” run as Laurie Strode in the Halloween series. While running through her memorable films, Jamie Lee Curtis revealed in an EW interview what to look forward to in the Haunted Mansion reboot, saying:

It's modern, fresh, old-fashioned, and scary, but not scary like a monster movie. It's scary like a Disney ride, and funny. If you go on that ride, there's a lot of humor as well as the scary, ghost-y stuff.

I’m sure it’s refreshing to her to be in a Disney-fied scary movie that doesn’t involve running away from a knife-wielding killer. You can tell in this interview how proud Jamie Lee Curtis is of the “yummy” creation the film’s director, Dear White People’s Justin Simien, came up with. She also loved the "beautiful" costumes that Academy Award-nominated costume designer Jeffrey Kurland created. This makes me all the more excited for what the Trading Places actress will look like as the clairvoyant crystal ball. 

Some quick things we know about the new Haunted Mansion movie is that we’ll get a star-studded cast. Its first stars revealed were Dopesick’s Rosario Dawson and Loki’s Owen Wilson. Then, Night School’s Tiffany Haddish, Knives Out’s LaKeith Stanfield and Twins Danny Devito joined the cast. This reboot will also have a different take than the 2003 Disney version, where a mother (played by Rosario Dawson) attempts to exorcize her New Orleans mansion from ghosts after she moves in. Originally, Nightmare Alley’s Guillermo Del Toro was going to be planning his own “truly scary” adaptation as its writer, but plans fell through when Katie Dippold was tapped to pen the Haunted Mansion script after Del Toro’s was considered too scary for a family audience. I’d have to agree considering Disney films today are often aimed at a younger audience compared to before.

Disney’s previous Haunted Mansion-based film starring Eddie Murphy did well at the box office, but got mediocre reviews, with a current 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. So it’s good that the reboot film will be going in a completely different direction plot-wise. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies were considered to be the only successful Disney movies based on a Disney theme park attraction. Then Jungle Cruise came out and got decent reviews, resulting in a Jungle Cruise sequel now on the way. So maybe Disney will have better luck in its theme park atraction film adaptations going forward.

Jamie Lee Curtis has nothing but praise for Haunted Mansion’s humor and spookiness that audiences will anticipate seeing. Be sure to watch the upcoming Disney movie in theaters on August 11, 2023.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.