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As the House of Mouse has set out to take inspiration from its classic rides for big screen premises, Disneyland’s The Haunted Mansion has long been on the top of fans’ wish lists. Nearly 20 years after the studio featured the spooky characters from the classic ride for a family comedy starring Eddie Murphy that flopped with audiences, Disney is getting back on the headless horse to develop a Haunted Mansion reboot once again.
Katie Dippold, the writer behind the Melissa McCarthy-led Ghostbusters and 2013’s buddy-cop comedy The Heat, will reportedly pen the script for a Haunted Mansion movie based on the ride that opened at Disneyland in 1969, per The Hollywood Reporter. It is also being produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who were behind 2019’s live-action Aladdin remake.
Dippold’s background seems to heavily lean The Haunted Mansion in the direction of comedy, since her resume includes writing for Parks and Recreation, along with the 2017 Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn movie Snatched. Will the studio dare to walk the halls of family comedy after its previous adaptation didn't please a lot of fans? It’s frankly too early to tell until a director is picked out for The Haunted Mansion.
While many fans of the Disney property would like to see a horror take on The Haunted Mansion on the big screen, Disney is also the largest conglomerate in Hollywood laser-focused on bringing family-friendly films to audiences – especially since its established ride is a fun version of the supernatural to begin with. But with the right vision, a balance between the two could be achieved.
When last we heard about The Haunted Mansion, Guillermo del Toro was going to adapt his own vision of the ride. During San Diego Comic-Con in 2010, it was announced The Shape of Water filmmaker would be writing and producing a flick that was reportedly going to feature Ryan Gosling in a movie centering on the Hatbox Ghost. According to del Toro, he had ideas to remake the idea of the Haunted Mansion itself into a “heightened reality “ that would not be a comedy, but “scary and fun.”
Guillermo del Toro recently achieved PG-13 horror as a producer on the 2019 adaptation of Scary Stories in the Dark, which is already getting a sequel. And Ryan Gosling is moving over to horror to play The Wolfman for Leigh Whannell’s follow-up to The Invisible Man for Universal. Even without del Toro at the helm, I hope Disney does bring some of their bold Pirates of the Caribbean energy here. Gore Verbinski’s Curse of the Black Pearl struck a delicate harmony between having an edgy vision and being an exciting family film.
The Haunted Mansion is in early development at Disney, and we’ll be keeping a close eye out on the movie as more news comes our way. The next movie based on a Disneyland ride will be Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, which hits theaters on July 30, 2021.